Saturday, January 8, 2011

Theater of the Absurd

The lymph ducts of the breast usually drain to the sentinel node before the lymph nodes underneath the arm. It's called the "sentinel" because it helps sound the warning when cancer has spread.
I have been very, very lucky. The radiology team was able to isolate the sentinel lymph nodes for each breast before surgery. The word "sentinel" stems from the Latin sentire, to watch, and my sentinel nodes took care of me, alerting the doctors that no further lymph nodes need be taken, and no chemo is necessary. 

There was drama in the surgical theater, drama in my happy conversation on New Years Eve morning when my surgeon reported the news. "We did the right thing; we got it all."

Since the surgery a week ago, you can think of my life as a theater of the absurd. Stage directions:
Single actor onstage, night-time, then day-time, a bed, a reclining chair (both surrounded by rumpled covers, socks). A CD player. Actor sighs, adjusts reclining position on bed, fluffs pillows, dozes, awakens, moves to chair, raises and lowers chair back, sighs. She turns on CD player with remote, listens to indistinct voices, dozes, sighs, moves back to bed. No monologue.