Friday, 29 November 2013

17th of October - Lumpectomy

Wide local excision/Lumpectomy/ Breast conserving surgery + Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy (SLNB)

I arrived at The Princess Royal Hospital in Telford at 07:30. I checked in and found my bed and was told that I would be the first person up to surgery. My fabtabulous Husband helped me into my gown and my sexy surgery socks trying to keep my mind off the inevitable and then I had a cannula fitted. I had NOT been looking forward to this day and had a bee in my bonnet that I was going to wake up mid surgery. The Anaesthetist tried to comfort me and explain that I would be given something to help me feel calm.  I was quite tearful at this point anyway but when my husband left me by the anesthetists door, there was no stopping me. There's something very vulnerable about lying on a hospital bed being wheeled into the unknown.

Whilst in surgery I will have a Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy, where blue dye is injected into the breast. This makes your faeces and urine blue after surgery (and even now as I am writing up these posts, my right breast is still blue, the date today is 29/11/2013). The blue dye can be visible from a few days to a couple of months later and I'm sure the Breast Cancer Care Nurse is sick and tired of all the Smurf jokes.

Sentinel lymph node biopsy is another way of finding out whether cancer cells have spread into any of the lymph nodes under the arm. During your breast cancer surgery, your surgeon injects a small amount of blue dye into the area of the breast around the tumour. Sometimes they also inject a mildly radioactive fluid known as a tracer. The dye drains away from the breast to the lymph glands close to the area. The surgeon can see when the dye reaches the first group of lymph nodes. They call these the sentinel nodes. The surgeon removes about 1 to 3 of these nodes and sends them off to the lab to see if they contain cancer cells. If the surgeon thinks any of the sentinel nodes look as though they contain cancer cells, they will remove the node and the nodes around it. Usually, the operation is then over, and you and your surgeon will get the results of tests on the sentinel node a week or so later. (Source:

The last time I had been under General anaesthesia and into surgery was back in 1998 at the age of 26, when I had my tonsils extracted and had what I term as "an adverse reaction to Morphine".

I confirmed my name and d.o.b and spoke briefly with my surgeon. I was then asked what my favourite tipple was and as I was slurring "Shailor Jerree" I was under.

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