Yesterday, I received a telephone call from Karen, Dr. Croom’s nurse. She told me that Dr. Croom reviewed my patient files [mammogram/ultrasound/biopsy/MRI] and concluded that my “best bet” would be a mastectomy. The reason for this is the position of the tumor, near the center of the breast and toward the chest wall/bone. The surgeon must obtain a “clean margin” after removing the tumor and must have enough room to do this. [“Clean margins” are tissues that are free of cancer cells.] Karen will make an appointment for me to consult with the radiation oncologist, in preparation for the possibility of radiology after surgery. We have not yet discussed chemotherapy but, remember, this depends on the condition of the lymph nodes, which the pathologist will examine during surgery.
On Monday, I have an appointment with Judy Welch, RN, a Breast Cancer Treatment Counselor, and an appointment with Dr. Patricia Hogan, my Family Practitioner. I have many questions re: surgery and post-op.
Now, the question that remains is: Is there a health benefit to a double mastectomy? My reading tells me that any woman in my situation would like to avoid a future recurrence of cancer [and future surgery, radiation, possible chemo, etc.] and would consider a double in order to put this whole nightmare behind her. So, as radical as this may sound, I must consider this.
Next, there is the issue of reconstructive surgery, which I do not plan at this time, but it will be wise not to close the door on that forever. So, I will consult with a plastic surgeon, who will guide the surgery, so that the option will remain open for me. In the meantime, I will consult with someone re: prostheses.
This is rather a longer blog than usual and will suffice for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I will write again on Monday night. Thanks again for all your communication, care, and concern for me — and for your prayers.