Hello blog followers, Nate is getting another turn at the keyboard. Allison is out and about for the day, but just called me to let me know she got the pathology results - and she wanted me to post so everybody would know.
First a quick review: When Allison went in for surgery on the 18th, we knew there was a single invasive tumor in her breast, and at least a few smaller pre-cancerous calcifications. However, it was not known if the cancer had spread at all. The plan was to extract the sentinel lymph node and biopsy it, on-the-spot, during surgery - the sentinel lymph node gives an indication of if the cancer has spread or not, and biopsying it during surgery lets the doctors know if they need to take the opportunity to look elsewhere for cancer while the patient is "open" so to speak.
Well, the bad news was that the sentinel tested positive, meaning it was cancerous. Because of that, they removed several other lymph nodes from that armpit/shoulder/collarbone area, to determine the extent of the cancer's spread. (I don't remember the count, but it was somewhere between 10 and 20). These other nodes were sent to a lab for biopsy, along with the (known to be positive) sentinel node and the original tumor.
It was a bit scary that the sentinel node came back positive, so we've been eagerly waiting for the last week to get the results back for the other nodes, to see if the cancer had spread to any of them as well. Allison just got the call - all of the rest of the nodes were 100% clean! Hallelujah!
In addition, the lab was able to tell us that the margins for the original tumor were very clean, which is also good news - this means the chance that it had spread to Allison's skin or chest wall are slim to none - which means the chance of local recurrence is greatly reduced.
So, a very happy day indeed.