Tiina and I went to the hospital yesterday for the injection of a radioactive dye into the tumor in order to locate the sentinel lymph nodes that will be taken out and examined for cancer. Well the first round didn't reveal anything so she had to be injected again. This time it was under the skin. Luckily one, only one was to be found! So this will be the one they remove for testing. I guess as many as 10 can be found which means they would all have to be removed. If none are found then all the lymph nodes in the breast and under the arm as well as the fatty tissue from under the arm are removed. Tiina explained to me that before the dye was used the lymph nodes were automatically removed during the surgery. By removing the nodes this can cause swelling in the arm as well as numbness.
We got to meet the doctor who will be performing the actual surgery to remove the tumor. She had been on her summer holiday during our first visit. She is very nice and from what everyone tells us, the very best that they have. This is also a comforting thought. She drew lines on Tiina to indicate where the incisions would be made and how much would be removed. It appears that the size will be reduced from a D cup to a B cup. When the doctor had finished her drawing Tiina looked like a 3 year old got hold of a marker and had his way! These markings had to remain on her until today's surgery. The doctor was very pleased with the location of the tumor and with the texture of it. She said it should all go well. Another comforting thought.
So now Tiina has been in hospital since 8 am this morning. The time is now 4.13 pm. The doctor couldn't say for certain but thought the surgery would begin around 11 am. She said if all goes well it should take about four hours or even less.
I wasn't awake when she left this morning with her mother. She did come in to kiss and hug me and to say that she was leaving. I, of course, could not go back to sleep. It is a very eerie feeling. Heaven forbid something to go wrong but if it did that would have been the last time I would see her! Enough of that! No news is good news. So far I haven't heard anything yet. We had asked the nurse or doctor to call if something drastic had to be done. To let Tiina rest we decided that she would contact me first from the hospital.
So to all of you friends of Tiina you can check here for any results. As soon as I get them they will be posted here! I thank you all for your concerns, prayers and wishes. They truly mean a lot to us.