May 8, 2018
Treatment begins.

It’s the day of surgery. I have been awake for a while, praying for calmness, reading Psalms and some devotionals. I am okay. I know He is with me. John 16:33 says “ I have told you all this so that you will have peace of heart and mind. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows; but cheer up, for I have overcome the world!”

I have to be at the hospital at 8:15 am. Right now I have to get my daughter up and ready for school. The last few days I have been busy cleaning, doing laundry and shopping for food. I want to make things as easy as I can for my family.

The first procedure is a Sentinel Node biopsy with radioactive dye. It is to find out if cancer is in the lymph nodes. I read that it is placing dye in the area of the lymph node and waiting to see what “lights up”. The Doctor said he saw no signs that the cancer had spread, so this test will show if that is true. The second procedure will be the lumpectomy. The doctor will remove the lump and tissue surrounding it until he has a “clear margin” of tissue that has no cancer cells. This is what is sent to the pathologist to determine the Stage of the cancer and the next treatment steps.

I woke up from the surgery crying. I was in a lot of pain, very thirsty and very out of it. I slept on and off and then did all I needed to do so I could go home, I slept propped up in the bed last night. It was overall not bad for the first night. I’m taking a pain pill every 6 hours and it seems to be enough. Lisa Smith stayed with me all day. Her family brought us dinner. I wish I could have ate more of it but my stomach was just too queasy.

This morning (May 9th) my husband, Russell, helped me change the dressing. I stood there and cried, no I take that back, I sobbed. There is a 6” long incision from the top of my breast to under my armpit. It is closed with staples. There is another 6” long incision on the bottom of my breast , it is also closed with staples. It looks like I have lost about 1/3 of the breast, I’ll be able to tell more when the swelling goes down. I look like a rag doll that has been stitched together, but I am alive. The cancer has been removed.

I am grateful for all the people who have sent messages, your prayers are felt in my soul. I am grateful for the opportunity to sleep in my own room last night, I’m such an old homebody. I am grateful that I have the opportunity to keep most of my breast some women don’t have that choice. I am grateful for the doctors and nurses who took such good care of me. I am grateful to have Lisa here with me at the hospital, it made the waiting less difficult because we were busy visiting. I am grateful that my husband is such an amazing support and comfort, I knew I had chosen well with him, he’s such a sweet soul. Now to wait for the pathology report, I will probably get those results at my next doctor appointment on May 16, until then I will sit here and try to behave myself.

Always hope,
Tammie Barker Taggart

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