Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Day 28 - Lymphoscintigraphy

"Lymphoscintigraphy" (Lympho - sin - tig - ra - fee) aka I'm going to stick a needle through your nipple and inject you with radioactive tracer.

Fun.

I have my lymphoscintigraphy appointment today at 3 pm. They need to inject a radioactive tracer now, so tomorrow morning they can find what lymph node the tumor drains into. If the cancerous cells have spread to my lymph nodes, the first lymph node it will be in, is the one it drains into. They will remove that one and send it to pathology while I'm still in surgery. Depending on results, I will either have more lymph nodes removed at that time (and require radiation therapy) or -- if nothing is found in that "sentinel node" -- they move on.

Having lymph nodes removed increases my risk of lymphedema - a build up of fluid in your arm (in my case it would be my arm since that's where the nodes would have been removed). Any bruising or minimal type trauma to my arm could cause additional fluid to flow to the area, and because the nodes that would have been responsible for draining that fluid, and are now not there anymore, my arm could swell up and it could be an ugly thing.

And for me -trying to not run into things -- will only make me run into them more. I have enough trouble as it is crashing into stuff when I walk. So having to be extra careful just spells disaster for me. I think I'm going to have to install bumpers around my desk ... and maybe around the whole office if they'll let me.

At least once it's over - Mike and I get to head out to the Red Sox game. Hopefully there won't be too many tears during the appointment. It was described to me as a "bee sting" ... and well -- those hurt -- so I'm expecting the worse. But -- if it doesn't show up in my lymph nodes -- which is what I HOPE is the case -- then a little bee sting is totally worth it. And ... if it is in my nodes then ... heck ... a bee sting isn't the worst of it - so, I guess it's ok either way you look at it.

1 comment:

  1. Melissa this is AJ MacIntosh from Aurora...I started with day one of your journey and have read your emotions from day one. I have to side with Mike and say I can't believe such bad things continue to happen to such good people. I know you are strong and I know you have a huge support group but I want you to know I am doing the Tri-for-the-cure in August and I would like to do this in your honor! Stay Strong girl!!!

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