My followup appointment with the surgeon didn't quite go as planned on Tuesday - he didn't have the pathology report. I wasn't super surprised by that but was still a little disappointed. He did check out my incision and seemed pleased with his work and how everything was healing.
The pathology report came in today, though, so we had a phone consultation and he gave me all the news. First up - no further surgery is required. Yay! This means the lymph nodes came back negative and we had the required negative margins on the tumour: when the tumour is removed, the doctor removes additional tissue surrounding the tumour to ensure all cancerous cells are gone. When the tumour is tested in the lab, the outskirts (or excess tissue) should all come out as cancer-free, if not another surgery is required. So yay! One hurdle down!
My cancer was a stage 1. This is the first time I've heard that. Breast cancer stages go from 0 to 4; the lower number the better. You can read more about stages here. I had thought it was likely a stage 1 but feared it may be higher. So another yay!
My cancer was also "estrogen-receptor positive." I'm not entirely sure what this means except that the tumour is likely to grow in a high-estrogen environment. This also indicates what hormone therapy I will be advised to take.
Then there's the negative - the tumour also showed signs of lymphovascular invasion, meaning there are signs of tumours in the blood cells. In the grand scheme of things, I'm not sure what this means. I'm still digesting and investigating the information.
My next steps are to meet with a medical oncologist and a radiation oncologist. I will definitely need radiation and hormone therapy. Because of my young age (yes, that's what Dr. P said) and the lymphovascular invasion, I may be more inclined to have chemo. I'm trying to come to terms with that because it scares the stuffing out of me.
But still... mostly yays for the pathology report, I think. Now we just wait for the next steps...