Saturday, August 7, 2010

June 28, 2008: first visit with breast surgeon

So today we met with the surgeon. She was nice and pretty straight forward, as you would expect a surgeon-type to be. I’m amazed at what I’ve learned in the last two days. Basically, I need to decide if I want a lumpectomy or a mastectomy. It’s stupid to even think of it this way, but a mastectomy would mean breast reconstruction, or implant – and I can’t possibly be left with one perky boob and one sagging one! But the surgeon said that I would have the choice to do both – two new perky boobs! I know this is not a priority, survival is, but might as well get something good from something bad, right?

According to the surgeon, the survivability of both mastectomy and lumpectomy is the same. Lumpectomy is easiest and quickest, with a 10% recurrence chance vs. 3% with mastectomy. Since I’m only a b-cup, a lumpectomy will probably really affect my breast’s appearance – especially when it starts caving in like the surgeon said it might after 6-12 months.

The surgeon said I will need radiation therapy if I have the lumpectomy, as well as hormone therapy (probably Tamoxifen) for 5 years. With mastectomy, no radiation is necessary, unless it turns out that there’s lymph node involvement.

I’ve been very optimistic at each step with this and have been kicked in the ass twice now, which is starting to make it hard to remain optimistic. But, as they say, the third time’s a charm – or something like that – right? I’m speaking of the lymph node involvement. I pray that my lymph nodes are all negative for the presence of cancer. This is the third huge step and it has to be a good outcome this time!

I think I’m going to go with the lumpectomy. It seems to make the most sense. I just want the surgery quickly so I can get it out of me before it grows any more. I want to finish packing and get to or new home, or what I’m hoping will be our new home. I don’t know how long short sales take, but the bank is taking its time getting back to us about our offer – c’mon, stop making us suffer!

That’s all I can handle for today.

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