Today I had to go to the hospital for the sentinel lymph node thing. A low-activity radioactive substance wass injected near the tumor. After a gentle massage (had to rub my breast in public) I had to wait for two hours. Then they took photos and marked my sentinel lymph node. A lovely blue cross is now covering my armpit.
Tomorrow about 15 minutes before my operation the
physician injects a blue dye in the same manner. One or several nodes may take up the dye and these nodes are designated the sentinel lymph nodes. The surgeon then removes these first lymph nodes and sends them to a pathologist for rapid examination under a microscope to look for the presence of cancer.
This is probably what I'm most nervous about. The concept of sentinel lymph node surgery is to determine if the cancer
has spread to the very first draining lymph node or not. If the sentinel lymph node does not contain cancer,
then there is a high likelihood that the cancer has not spread any further. But I try not think about it too much, it would not really change my path after all. Because I will still have to do the radiation, chemo and hormone blocking therapy.
I have to be at the hospital very early in the morning (as in you have to get up in the middle of the night). I'm not much of a morning person but this is quite a relieve actually. Better get it over with.
As Arnie always put it, "I'll be back!"