If you have ever been backpacking, you know that walking with a loaded backpack downhill is much harder than trekking uphill. This doesn't make sense, and it's really quite a bummer when you reach the top of the mountain, thinking that the descent into the lake is going to be easy, but discover that it is even harder. I just carried my cancer to the top of the mountain, and am beginning my descent.
The discovery, the tests, and the myriad of doctors were my uphill climb. The final decisions regarding surgery and reconstruction are the descent. Oh yeh, and then there's that chemo thing.
Today Justin and I met with my local surgeon, Dr. No Nickname. Yes, we are going to Mass General for a second opinion, but I wanted to get the results from the MRI biopsy and hear her options for the operation. I learned that the MRI biopsy of the right side - noncancerous side - came back not cancerous, BUT not good either. The lesion needs to be removed. Now I have the weight of the big, really BIG decisions to consider. What type of surgery do I want, and do I want reconstruction or do I want to wear falsies - not the technical term. I can just see it now - I'll be bodysurfing a wave, get thrown around and lose my boob in the surf. Some kids get to look for shells or sea glass, but mine will be searching for their mom's left breast.
She gave me three options:
Option 1. Step A. Complete mastectomy on the left. Step B. Chemotherapy Step C. Complete mastectomy on the right and reconstruct both during the second surgery.
Option 2. Remove both and reconstruct both at the same time
Option 3. Step A. Remove left and part of right. Step B. Reconstruction operation at another time, or no reconstruction at all
I told Dr. No Nickname that I thought it wise to get a second opinion. She was good with this decision. She knows of Dr. Top Dog at Mass General that I am seeing on April 15.
Another element was thrown into the equation today. If I decided to stay with Dr. No Nickname, she is going on maternity leave around the third week in April. What? She can't be pregnant! She had triplets (3 boys) in January - she looks amazing-no belly and no bags under the eyes! Does this sound familiar Super Mom? She is still going to work part-time. If I have complications, I think it might be better to have someone that is full-time.
I am very thankful that I have so many people who are thinking about me and are expressing their concerns and desire to help! I appreciate all the suggestions and recommendations.
The other part of the descent that is weighing heavily on me - I don't know how to say this without sounding unappreciative and bitchy - is that it is difficult when so many people call or stop me "on the street" to get updated on my progress; this is why I began the blog in the first place. I just didn't think that I could talk about my breast cancer over and over and over, and I was right. But I guess many can't get into the blog thing - I can totally understand -I barely have time to check my e-mail, let alone someone's ramblings about her cancer. Unfortunately, for me, retelling my progress/process is strangely exhausting. But, why am I telling you this?! You are actually reading this and know what's going on! How goofy.
The last weight in this cancer backpack- and I don't know how to put this either -is the barrage of outside input. As I mentioned above, suggestions and recommendations are welcomed and appreciated, but in the form of an e-mail is best at this point. I feel bad when I don't follow up on all the phone calls, suggestions and recommendations- it's not that I don't value all of them; it just has become overwhelming. Justin and I have reached the top of the mountain, and we feel pretty good about the path we mapped down to the lake. I know that those who have taken the breast cancer jouney can probably describe this unexpected feeling and energy drain more eloquently than I.
Whacky thought for the day...
If doing something the same way over and over but expecting different results is the definition of insanity...how many of us have been insane at least once in our life?
Happy Day-After-Your-Birthday Mully! (Sorry I'm a day late, but I didn't write yesterday.)