Wednesday, May 6, 2015
My first appointment of the day was at the breast care center. I'm so thankful they were able to squeeze me in bright and early. I got to meet my doctor, have another look at the mass via ultrasound, see the mammogram for the first time, and spend a lot of time talking about what is to come. There was so much information, I'm thankful my husband was there taking notes. We have set up a notebook to hopefully keep all my information together, so I'm not the one messing up appointment times.
We talked about my diagnosis and what all the different letters/numbers mean. The cancer is grade 1 (which means less aggressive) and estimated at a Stage 1. We won't know the stage for sure until after surgery, but it is estimated to be a small, non aggressive type. :) It looks pretty much the same on ultrasound as the first time I saw it. It is hard to differentiate to the untrained eye on a mammogram. All dense tissue and my cancer cell look very similar. It just has a more defined circular shape whereas the rest of the dense tissue looks more like cirrus clouds. I'm thankful whoever read my mammogram caught it and decided it needed further testing. I definitely would not want to wait until even the untrained eye could tell "one of these things is not like the other. One of these things just doesn't belong." I'm pretty sure at that point, we would not be looking at Stage 1 cancer.
We also discussed treatment options and what I can expect going forward. I am currently having genetic testing and waiting not so patiently for the results. The doctor wanted to explain why it was important for me to have genetic testing even though I already have cancer. She didn't have to convince me of its importance. I already knew that it was important to know if I have a genetic marker to help determine the future care of my daughter, as well as my mother and sister. If I need to be the guinea pig to help preserve the health of those around me, I will gladly do it. What I didn't know is that the genetic testing results will help determine my current treatment.
Surgery will be happening next regardless of genetic testing results. If the test results are positive, a bilateral mastectomy will be happening and probably removal of ovaries. If the test results are negative I will still be getting a mastectomy.I will just have to decide if it will be bilateral or only right side. And, I will need to decide whether I want reconstruction, an external prosthesis, or nothing. It will not be until after the pathology reports come back after surgery that I will know about chemotherapy or radiation. My cancer is hormone receptive, both ER and PR positive, so I will be having hormone therapy for a minimum of 5 years. This is not hormone replacement therapy, giving me more of the hormones. This is shutting down hormone production.
So, that is where I'm at with treatment knowledge. And since a mastectomy with possible reconstruction will take place, the breast care center made an appointment for my to talk to the plastic surgeon about possible reconstruction. That appointment left me with even more to consider before a decision is made. It also left me with the doctors working on getting surgery scheduled at some point after the genetic results arrive IN THREE TO FOUR WEEKS!!! WHAT???
The good news is this gives me time to make an informed decision about exactly the type of surgery and impact on recovery, independence,, etc. The good news is I will get to help my children finish this school year before the genetic testing results are in. The good news is I will get to attend all end of the year school activities. I think that's what all this means. I do see the oncologist tomorrow so we'll see what he does to my precariously balanced teetering schedule of activities.
Just in case you're wondering how the title of this post fits its content, I have decided I must wear my Wonder Woman shirt to doctor appointments. Monday, when someone screwed up my appointment and I had to reschedule for Tuesday, my first thought was "it's a good thing I have more than one Wonder Woman shirt.:" :) So, I wore red on Monday and purple on Tuesday. Wearing my Wonder Woman shirt gives me superpowers, right? Does that mean, if I have to take it off to be examined, my superpowers are gone? Maybe I need to get something Wonder Woman themed that won't have to be removed during doctor appointments.
Thankful thoughts for the day:
Understanding and supportive teachers
Time to prepare birthday celebration for husband
Storm trackers and breaking into regularly scheduled TV
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