In 6 days I’ll finally be having breast surgery.
I’ve been asking for surgery since I was diagnosed 2 yrs ago. Initially, I was told I needed to get to a stable point and then we could discuss surgery. Ok. I get that. So I did radiation and started on an Aromatase Inhibitor.
Six months later, I was declared NED (No Evidence of Disease) and I asked again.
I found that it really didn’t matter that I was stable. My surgeon didn’t feel surgery was the right choice. The cancer was already was in my bones so it didn’t matter if the cancer stayed in my breast.
I mattered to me. I hated knowing the cancer that would ultimately be my demise was going to stay there. I wanted it gone. It would keep me up nights wondering if more of that tumor would leak out into my bloodstream and take up residence in another organ. Early stage Breast Cancer patients ALWAYS had their cancer removed. It wasn’t fair.
I was finally coming to terms with the whole ‘let’s not upset the apple cart’ thing when my last MRI showed questionable changes in my left breast. I began to panic. I told them! I knew this could happen. But they were supposed to know better. Fuckers. Further testing showed I was OK but I began conversations about having surgery again. If the cancer didn’t kill me the anxiety most certainly would.
My Oncologist agreed. Wait, what?
She finally understood my fears and anxiety and sent me off to the surgeon again. She would have to agree this time. Right?
She looked at all the imaging, the notes from my Oncologist and examined me. She sat me down in a small conference room and began telling me that although there was this scare it still didn’t change her mind. A mastectomy, in her opinion, was too big a surgery for me. I hadn’t been NED for that long and I should go celebrate and enjoy life. I sat stunned. I was so angry all I could do was cry.
A few days later my Oncologist sent me a note. She was referring me to another surgeon that she felt would be more obliged to operate. She really did get me. She finally heard me.
The surgeon I saw was cool. She listened to my story, fears and reasons for wanting surgery. When she began to discuss her opinion she started with agreeing with the other surgeon. GAH!! Then she went on to say she felt a lumpectomy was the best option to start with. She explained that starting with a smaller surgery would enable them to find out if the tumors were dying and if the surrounding tissue was clear. She said there could be a possibility that if they couldn’t get a clear enough margins of surrounding tissue that they would have to go back in and that’s when they would just remove the breast completely.
If the lumpectomy went well and they got it all the first go around, in 3-5 yrs if I still wanted a mastectomy and I was still stable she would do it.
So, on Friday, I go in for a lumpectomy on the right side to remove 2 tumors and a lumpectomy on the left to remove a string of 3 tumors. It’s going to be out-patient and should be home that night.
I know this is the right thing but I’m starting to have that “Oh shit, what did I do” moment. I’m not changing my mind. It’s just nerves.
Keep me in your thoughts this week. I’ll update after its done and maybe even have some cool pictures. Kidding!