The Stacey Report

December 17, 2007: You want to do surgery WHEN?

Posted in Stacey Updates by dbancroft on December 17, 2007

Well, actually, tomorrow.  Thanks to TFDB’s vigorous advocacy, everything fell together: all tests were run, all specialists lined up and given orders, butts kicked, names taken, all that good gravy.

So let’s bring us up to date, shall we?

The first test that was run was the pet scan, which is really the best indicator for these things (thank you TFDB for ordering the best test right up front).  The scan was of all the relevant body parts, and found four very small nodules in her left breast (the troublesome one). 

Then, a bunch of follow-up tests (paraphrase: “let’s run every test in the whole world so we can find out as much about this as we can.”):

I. The MRI
Notable Notes: this test took SIX needle sticks, made by three different people. As you may recall, Stacey’s veins are “deep, wiggly, and hard to get.” Delightful mental image though this may be, it makes injections decidedly unpleasant. 
Results: MRI confirmed 4 nasties.

II. The Mammogram
SQUAAAAAAASH…. 4 nasties.

III. The CT Scan
Notable Notes: a CT scan starts with a luscious tumbler of barium sulfate solution on the rocks.  Post-quaff,  they start stickin’ needles. (“Uh, yesterday it took three people six tries…” “I’ll call the IV nurse.”)
Results: A CT scan is a whole-bod deal, and showed no areas of concern except the 4 nasties.

IV. The Biopsy (of the 4 nasties) and the Placing of the “Seed”. 
So, this is kinda cool in the abstract — when the Breast Center does a biopsy, they put a teeeeny little ball bearing dealie in the area they checked; they call it a seed. That’s so in later scans, the techs know where to look for trouble. And yes, then you have a ball bearing in your boob forever. Unless you’re Stacey. And then you only have it in there until tomorrow. (See? Life gives you lemons, you make Lemoncello.)

V. The ANOTHER Mammogram
Just for grins.

Then, a meeting with the plastic surgeon, because they’ve decided to do a reconstruction at the same time as the mastectomy. “Well I should hope so,” our mother said, “otherwise she’d list!” (I checked with Stacey, you have permission to laugh at that one: Stacey sure did.)

For the reconstruction, they’ll be doing a tram flap. “Cool!” yer thinkin’, “Boob job and a free tummy tuck!” Well, no, you’re as wrong about that as I was: not quite that simple. For flap reconstruction they do take a hunk of tummy to construct a new breast (which, depending on your tummy, could be a good or a bad thing).  But they also take one of your abdominal muscles out, and that’s just creepy. I asked Stacey how a person continues to, like, remain vertical without all the tummy muscles. She told me what the plastic surgeon had said, that if she was a high powered athlete (ok, Stacey laughed there, use your judgement) he wouldn’t recommend it, but most people do just fine.

And then, everybody was going to be ready on Tuesday, so here we go.

Stacey has to go in for pre-op stuff at the butt crack of dawn (o’course) and they told her that it’d be about a 7 hour deal. True to form, when I asked whether she wanted me to be there, she said “Why? So you can sit around in the hospital while I’m unconscious and don’t even know you’re there?” Well, okie dokie, man — I’m asking Michael to call me when she’s out of surgery with an update, and then planning to go in on Thursday morning to see how things be.

I’ll be posting a mailing address at the hospital as soon as I know it: I bet if you sent it to Newton Wellesley Hospital and mark it for “Patient: Stacey” it’d get to her ok. I’m making an executive decision on flowers, to send or not to send: Send. There are always fresh flowers in her kitchen, believe it or don’t, so I think she’d dig ’em. I know she’ll be in the hospital at least 3 days (gee, plenty of time to recover!) so there’s time for cards or whatever you’d like to send.

On this note, if anyone would like to send anything that won’t get there through the mail in time, and it’s a thing I can get here and just bring in, please let me know. We’ll figure it out.

OK, kids. Stay tuned.


2 Responses

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  1. Mike Hairston said, on December 18, 2007 at 10:57 am

    Stacey, this is Deb’s former/sometimes current cow-orker Mike. We’ve never met, but I’ve been following the blog since it began, and just want to let you know we’re thinking of you today. Hope everything goes well.


  2. Deborah Bancroft said, on December 18, 2007 at 11:40 am

    And nobody orks those cows like Mike!

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