a rare tumor means that of all the possible tumors a body could choose to grow, only 1% are these phyllodes tumors. what comes along with that rarity is a lack of studies on them and very often, surgeons (even those who specialize in breast cancer) with precious little experience.
my surgeon in 2001 was good and very kind, but i was only the second phyllodes tumor in his 25 year career! so he didn't know, i can only assume, that even for benign tumors, proper margins have to be taken. to be safe, 2 cm of tissue around the tumor must also be removed.
is this comforting? strangely, it is.
what that piece of information means to me is that this thing is not a sign from the universe that i am on the wrong path with quitting my job and going for my studio full-time. the probability of reoccurance was actually written into my pathology report from the first tumor.
thank goodness for martha, who was able to interpret that report for me so quickly. and thank goodness for portland, for me here in portland, where i can find care experienced in the rare, the unusual, the weird.
today i meet with the surgeon, dr. naik. she has already requested the slides from my old pathology report. i love that, a doctor not taking any chances and going the extra mile to make sure we figure it out and get exactly the right treatment. i am thankful beyond words that a dear friend will come with me to take notes and keep a clear head if mine fogs up.
i spent long minutes on hold and on the phone with insurance companies yesterday, trying to make sure my ducks are lined up just so. it's a tricky business.
and thank goodness also, for you out there reading and pulling for me. the comments and emails this week have been so, so encouraging. getting those messages of solidarity have calmed me like nothing else could.
even though i am calmer than a few days ago, what remains is this numb limbo state which has sucked out all my zip and motivation. i know i should be busting ass in my studio, i should be keeping busy -but i just want to hide in the safe cocoon of my apartment.
I can't see beyond the appointment today, i feel frozen until i know something, anything. a date. a date for surgery would be great. i hope i get that today.