a little c

because I refuse to give it a big one

Mass Email update – Nov 18 (in which I just.say.NO.)

Posted by wendy on 2010/11/18

Sorry for the mass email, y’all, but I’ve come to a decision regarding my treatment that is almost radical in its non-radicalness and it’s easier to explain once, I think.  🙂

I’ve weighed the pros and cons of mastectomy/reconstruction vs lumpectomy and I’ve decided to go with the lumpectomy.

It’s a bit tricky with me, because I have different spots on my breast, but Dr. Bucker has said what he will do is put me back into mammography, then pinpoint my spots with wires, then send me to radiology and there they’ll inject my breast with something so he can test my sentinel node, then I’ll go up to surgery and he’ll remove my tissue.

The downside of this is that pathology may come back and say that he didn’t get enough, (he has to have a certain amount of ‘good’ tissue surrounding the cancerous cells) and he’ll have to go back, and if that continues to happen, I may wind up having to go the mastectomy route anyway.  There is also the chance it could come back in 5 to 10 years, but frankly, it could come back in the other breast as well or my liver or anywhere else–that’s a chance that everyone has.  I just do not see that as a good enough reason to mutilate my body before I’ve exhausted every other option.  And, if it comes back, I’ll deal with it then.  I’ve worked so hard to get strong and healthy and I’m not ready to be an invalid just yet.  I have such a horror of them taking away my stomach muscle for the TRAM flap and trying to live without one that it’s almost as distressing as the mastectomy itself.

The surgery is much easier–it’s a bit more than my biopsy, but I will more than likely get to go home the same day (instead of staying 6 days), and my recovery time is drastically less–around a week to heal as opposed to a full 8 weeks.

To make this as good as a mastectomy, I’ll have to have radiation for a month before I start chemo.  I’m okay with that.  This disease is trying to take so much from me, I’ve decided to fight it every step of the way for every single piece.  I know a lot of my friends may try to remind me about the “free” tummy tuck that comes with  the reconstruction, but  that free tummy tuck was costing me far too much emotionally, physically, and financially.  It may still get my hair–but I’ve already put my order in for a cute knitted kitty hat and  I’ll just wear nothing but crazy (pink!) wigs and kitty hats for a while.  I’m keeping the rest of me if I can.  🙂

I’ve been in this horrible spiral of despair for about a week.  Everything felt wrong and out of control and every time I considered the surgery, I sunk further into depression.  It’s felt like my life and everything I knew was spinning out of control and I couldn’t stop it.  I’ve prayed and thought and wrestled for days and I could not make this feel “right” to me at all–at no point did it feel like I was making the right choice until I reached out and just said “No.”

The minute I decided on the lumpectomy and talked to my doctor again, I felt this incredible peace and for the first time, I felt hope.  Like this isn’t going to kill me.  That I’ll make it through to the other side and be stronger for it.

Dr. Buckner has been very adamant to let me know that he would not allow me to make a mistake.  And he feels that this could work for me.

I’m choosing FIGHT.  I think that’s a good thing.

Thanks for all your prayers and wishes and thoughts and words. It has meant so much.

One Response to “Mass Email update – Nov 18 (in which I just.say.NO.)”

  1. What a powerful post, and how refreshing to hear a cancer chick speak honestly about recurrence and metastasis instead of assuming you can tie a pink ribbon around it and live happily ever after. Sometimes it doesn’t work out, and that’s a fact. The decisions we make to reduce that chance are crushing, and I’m so glad your decision came with such peace.

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