I had my surgery yesterday, February 11, 2014, and by God’s grace I had no pain! My anesthesiologist offered me a needle on the side of my spine that was designed to block the nerves on my chest and give me pain relief for a minimum of 12 hours. I declined as I didn’t want my spine touched or my nerves affected. I was also offered morphine in the recovery room, but one a scale of 0-10, my pain was only a 2 so I received 3 regular Tylenol and that is all I needed for pain. Since then I have been completely pain free! Praise the Lord for the prayer that has gone up on my behalf. It was a major surgery and to have no pain is amazing. I am feeling tiredness, but that is to be expected.
The next part of my treatment plan
In a month I will be put on pills that will block any estrogen production to stop the cancer from feeding off of my estrogen. The drug that I will be getting is called letrozole or Femara and it is an aromatase inhibitor. Some of the side effects can be quite strong such as arthritis, joint/bone/muscle pain, tiredness, hair loss, memory loss, and trouble sleeping. I have been doing some reading about the side effects and women who have experienced these side effects say that the arthritis they experienced has made them feel 80 or 90 years old. Some of the side effects will eventually go away after the treatment is over, but other side effects can be permanent such as the bone pain and arthritis. I am asking God to spare me from two things. The first is the side effects of Femara, and the other is radiation treatment. My oncologist tells me that 50% of women who have had excellent results from the chemotherapy will have the pathology report after mastectomy come back clean of cancer. The other 50% of women have some living cells still remaining and these women will have to have radiation even after the mastectomy. The problem for me with radiation is that this will be a second time for radiating the same tissue which will bring much more severe burning, and they will also increase the radiation area to include the underarm lymph nodes which will also cause swelling of my arm. Both side effects of the aromatase inhibitor and radiation will affect the quality of my life without God’s intervention and this is important to me.
For now, I am just basking in the joy of being pain free and believing that God will look after me in the remaining months and years of my life. Praise the Lord that He has walk through my surgery with me and He has given me peace and the absence of pain!