Friday, August 29, 2014

An Update From The Missus, and The Galilean Moons...

These are them. 

The Missus saw her surgeon yesterday, and here's the latest update on her condition:


It's been two weeks since my lumpectomy, and I just had the post-op visit with my surgeon.

The good news is that they got all of the cancerous cells.  All of the edges/margins of the tissue removed were normal.

The bad news is that in one spot, less than 0.5mm in size, the cancer had invaded breast tissue outside of the duct.  So I officially have Stage 1 breast cancer.

And it means that there is a small chance (less than 10%) that the cancer may have spread to a lymph node.

So the next step is to do a sentinel lymph node biopsy.  It's outpatient surgery. What they do is inject dye and a radioactive tracer into the breast near the lumpectomy area and follow it to the first lymph node it reaches under my left arm.  They remove the lymph node and check it for cancer.

After that, I get to see an oncologist because the abnormal cells in the lump they removed grow faster in the presence of estrogen.  So we need to discuss ways to suppress estrogen, since I'm not pre-menopausal according to blood levels drawn this past summer. After that I get to see a radiation therapist to learn about the
radiation therapy, which will probably begin sometime in October.

I'll let you know when the biopsy is scheduled.

- The Missus

So, that's the latest. We'll try to keep you posted, but as always I have to be frank and say that aside from the Sunday updates, we may be a little irregular in our posts. But, we'll still be here...


This is, all things considered, pretty good news; it could have been much worse. However, early last week - before we got the pathology report that gave us the first inklings of this good news - I had what I have to say was just about the worst moment in my entire life. (And I include the night I effectively died, when I had my brain bleed.) In my long and eventful career, I've had a few really bad moments; the day Phil passed away, the day my dad passed away, finding out that I'd been betrayed by a supposedly close friend, crappy stuff like that. This was worse. Much, much worse...

The Missus had come back home after one of her numerous medical appointments, and had brought in a very nice telescope. Nothing huge, a three-inch refractor, but a very nice one that she''d found at an absurdly deep discount. (Clothing stores should not try to sell telescopes. Wrong market. In my opinion. Anyway...) So, happening to be up at the moment, I assembled the thing for her; back in my misspent youth, I had done a lot of field astronomy stuff, and hugely enjoyed it. I happened to mention the first time I'd seen the Galilean satellites of Jupiter, and The Missus mentioned that that was why she'd gotten the telescope...

"I'd like to see the moons of Jupiter, before I die."

Yes, my sweet; we will see the moons of Jupiter. I will pack you up, along with our set of binoculars and your brand new telescope, and we will go out into the deep dark of the starry night and have a look at the skies. I will, I hope, be able to show you all of the wonders that I have been taking for granted all these years; the stars, the planets, and all of the other objects out there in the void that have amazed and awed humans for ages. You will, I hope, be able to see the rings of Saturn, and the moons of Jupiter...


  1. Seeing the rings of Saturn and the moons of Jupiter is a wonderful experience indeed!

    1. It is indeed, and something we'll be doing soon. Thank you for all your kind words, too!

      - chirine