I'll start with the ugly and work backwards so as to end on a more positive note -- as much for myself as for my readers.
THE UGLY: The final pathology report came in: there was microscopic cancer found in the first of my two lymph nodes. I believe this means my cancer is now Stage II (B). This was not the news we were hoping for. I found out only a few hours ago and am pretty devastated right now. I've more research to do but this really knocked us flat.
THE BAD: I have been in a very dark place emotionally....way before the final path report today, in fact it's been creeping up on me since I came home. I cry on and off all day, can't sleep and vacillate between deep sorrow, simmering anger and this nagging feeling of vague regret. Intellectually I know I had no choice, but it feels like I took a perfectly healthy body and mutilated it. The feeling of loss is almost overwhelming. I don't know how to write about it now...I've lost a little of the will to blog and perhaps that scares me most of all. This feels like the worst post partum I could imagine, which is also disturbing to me on many levels.
THE GOOD: I got my drains out today (3 of them), which makes me feel waaaaay more human and means I can shower. My pain is slowly decreasing little by little each day. More importantly, the margins for the rest of the breast are clean -- which is especially good because they did find more cancer there after all -- mastectomy was indeed a good choice. The nipple/areola complex gets to stay (if it survives) -- that came back clean too. My children are coping well and DH has been with me every step of the way. I don't know what I'd do without them.
So, that's the state of affairs at the moment. Will keep you posted. Any good thoughts and vibes are perpetually appreciated more than words can say.