Friday, April 1, 2011

Starting on a new journey

I had a lot of medical events in March. On March 7, I had a mammography. Later that day, I was told that it was abnormal on the right side and I had to come back for another couple of pictures. On March 14, I did that, and then had an ultrasound. I was told that there appeared to be a mass about 1 cm-1.5 cm large. The next step was a needle biopsy, which took place on March 21. On March 22, I was told that the biopsy revealed breast cancer, grade 1. On March 24, Rowen and I went to see a surgeon about the lump. He requested a bilateral breast MRI. He suggested my having a lumpectomy and radiation. We have done a lot of reading, research, and praying. The MRI happened on March 29. That brings you up to yesterday:

We talked to the surgeon yesterday about having a double mastectomy with reconstruction. The MRI showed that the tumor is larger than the ultrasound had indicated. It said 2.7 cm. (A homeschool friend's was 2.6 cm. and she had to have chemo after her surgery.) Why do a lumpectomy when it is so big a lump, and the doctor wants to get 1 cm. margins around it? That would really make me look like I had a mastectomy over there! Then you have to have radiation if you choose a lumpectomy. Then if I had to have chemo too, because of the size of the lump...

To me it makes more sense to take them both off. I have always checked my breasts and found it very difficult to know what to be concerned about and what was normal. I had found this lump, but thought surely it was normal. My doctor could not feel it, and now I find out it is cancer. Last night I felt of the other breast and I feel lumps in it too. But the MRI showed that it was clear. So I think I would make myself crazy feeling of that breast and wondering if the lumps were normal or not.

The MRI showed no abnormalities in my armpit nodes, but something showed up close to the tumor. Not clear whether it is another spot of cancer, a node that has cancer, or a node that was inflamed because of the biopsy. So that spot would also have been included if we had chosen a lumpectomy.

I will see the plastic surgeon (who will do the reconstruction start during the surgery) next Wednesday. Then it is a matter of coordinating the two surgeons' schedules. April 12 Jeffrey is scheduled for his next gum graft surgery. April 13 and 14 are the other kids' achievement tests. Tuesdays seem to be a good day for both surgeons. Thursdays are also a possibility. I am hoping for April 19. We will wait to see what gets scheduled.

I feel like we have made the right choice with the Lord's help. I just hope everybody will find a way to be supportive. I know it is impossible to know just what you would do until it is you. Rowen and I have always said if we had cancer that could be removed, we would remove it. We also said we did not want to have chemo ever. But now it is me, and I am still young, and have three kids still at home to finish up raising (Jeff is moving in August), and precious grandchildren I want to know and love, and I have become willing to do whatever I have to do.

We won't know until up to 10 days after surgery whether chemo will be recommended, so we can't cross that bridge yet, but intellectually, I have to consider it.

Thank you for the continued prayers,