I’m not sure I’ve discuss my BRAC Analysis results here–they administered the test at my first surgeon visit after my diagnosis–which, I don’t know…once you get cancer and they do a test to see how susceptible you ARE to cancer, it’s kind of a “wow, thanks for letting me know about my BRCA2 positive mutation after telling me I have breast cancer!”. It seems a bit pointless at that particular juncture–but, of course, (and it’s the thing I haven’t talked about here) I am not only at risk for breast cancer (which, I already had would be super pleased NOT to have again), but I have around a 20% chance of developing ovarian cancer at some point. Now, that means I’ve got an 80% chance of NOT getting it, and if I were in Vegas, I’d certainly play those odds. Of course, the fine folks at Caesar’s Palace aren’t asking me to put my life on the line. 20% seems much bigger when the stakes are this high.
So, this week, I had my first vaginal ultrasound and a pretty serious discussion with my gynecologist about getting rid of a few more body parts–my ovaries and my uterus. She gave me a few options—remove my ovaries and tubes, leave the uterus or, do a full hysterectomy. The method she advises is called a da Vinci Hysterectomy (robotic hysterectomy). It’s less invasive than an open hysterectomy and the downtime would only be a few days. I could conceivably be back home the same day.
I have to say that at this point in my life, I am sugeried OUT. Seriously. The idea of more surgery brings on a case of The Tragics that no amount of Ben and Jerry’s can abate–but…am I willing to spend the rest of my days having a vaginal ultrasound and bloodwork every 6 months so we can try to ‘catch’ any abnormalities? Not so much. And, the more I think about it, the more I realize I’m not all that attached to them anyhow–I stopped menstruating back in 1989 after my son was born, so, essentially all my ovaries are good for is pumping out estrogen, which my (ER-postive) cancer loves to attach itself to–hence the 5 year tamoxifen (which also carries it’s own risk of uterine cancer) prescription. (ooo…an added plus that my doctor said she would investigate: Would I have to continue taking an estrogen blocker if my ovaries are removed? There’s another plus.)
So, she’s given me plenty to think about–and plenty of time to think about it, as my next ultrasound is scheduled for April 23, 2012. Really though–I’m not sure there’s much to think about. I should really stock up on Ben and Jerry’s, though–cause there’s no ice cream in this house right now and that’s all kinds of wrong.
I wonder if my insurance would cover New York Super Fudge Chunk as a therapeutic necessity?