Mema and Joan left this morning to head back to Atlanta. It was good having them here and really nice of them to come visit and keep us company after the surgery!
On Friday we went back in to see Dr. Rapp on our scheduled followup to the surgery. We told him that I was still bleeding from the fall on Wednesday and he took the bandages off and had a look. He said that the place where he put the stitches on Wednesday looked great and the skin had actually already healed over, but the other areas weren’t doing quite so well. He ended up putting in more stitches in several areas across the bottom that he hoped would stop the bleeding. After that was taken care of, he told us that they had received the pathology report from my leg and that it was very good! A pathology report is “a document that contains the diagnosis determined by examining cells and tissues under a microscope.”
There were 3 areas on my report that specifically jumped out as great news:
1) The first was that my tumor was determined to be 80% necrotic. Necrotic tissue is dead tissue. This means that the chemotherapy did a great job, and killed 80% of the tumor cells in my leg. This is also good news because it means that if there are any rogue cells anywhere else in my body, they will have most likely been affected/killed as well!
2) There was absolutely no lymph node involvement. Lymph nodes behind the knee drain the lower leg and prevent swelling. It is not uncommon for cancerous sarcoma cells to spread through the lymph nodes. The fact that there were no cancer cells found in my lymph nodes is great news and means that no cancer cells spread to other areas of my body through my lymph nodes, giving a much more positive long term prognosis.
3) The margin was listed as being 17cm. We believe that this means there were 17cm’s between where we amputated and where the closest live tumor cell was. A good margin is 2cm. 17cm is incredible! Talk about having no risk that the cancer will recur in my leg!
All of this is great news and points to me officially being cancer free as of last Thursday, February 24th, 2011!!!
We are still going to do 2 more rounds of chemo to ensure that if there are any rogue cells out there, we have done everything we can do to kill them. And we won’t really know if I am cancer free for another 6-10 years, but we are eternally grateful for these test results, and I want to thank everyone who has been praying so diligently throughout all of this!