First doctor (surgeon) appointment: June 2. I was super comfortable, since she had examined my breasts for a few years, but I did get the lecture that my body would NEVER see estrogen replacement again. EVER. My spouse, my daughter and I were able to ask intelligent questions and get intelligent answers. Nothing was left unsaid. A complete explanation of my tumors was given – she even made a drawing! At this point, I interjected that my mother had undergone her own breast cancer treatment (same place, different surgeon, different oncologist, but all partners). My 80 year old mother had only one Stage 1 tumor, was able to undergo a lumpectomy and six weeks of radiation, and then she was off to Hawaii with her sisters. I said I’d take the same deal! And then I was met with laughter and a ‘No, you have two tumors, the bigger one (Stage 2, Her2 positive) would be problematic but they would do their best to make me cancer-free. I liked that!
I learned that because of the tricky Her2 positive tumor, I would require a mastectomy because of its size and location. I didn’t bat an eye and told her she could take both of them at the same time. My ‘good’ side had always been the problematic breast and I sure didn’t want that one to surprise me a couple of years down the road, so…
(But surprise! my chemotherapy would come first, and the regime would be 18 weeks, in 3 week increments. Oh, and a port would be installed on the side of my chest that didn’t have the tumors. It was either a surgically installed port or 18 straight weeks of being stabbed with what my husband called the big fish hook. (That port was scheduled for June 20, with my first chemo treatment scheduled for June 25.)
As I said, the comfort level between surgeon and patient was very high. Dr D asked if I was interested in reconstructive surgery…that would be with a different surgeon but one of my surgeon’s teammates. My daughter asked if it would even be necessary considering my age. And my wise surgeon replied: “your mother will look into the mirror every day for the rest of her life, and perhaps she would like to look at something more complete”. I agreed. And the appointment with the new reconstruction surgeon was set for June 4.
My surgeon had also made an appointment with my new oncologist for June 3.
(to be continued)