Mastectomy, are you sure?

Christmas is over and we are back in the Doctor’s office. Mammogram, check. Ultrasound, check. PET scan, check. The PET scan not only said that there was no other cancer found in my body, it told us a lot about the cancer itself. I found out that the HER2 protein was negative. That means that my cells are not cancer friendly…that’s a good thing. The growth stage was 1, this is not the same as the “stage” we laymen think it is. Growth one means that it’s simply not hungry and aggressive…. that’s also a good thing. We know what kind of cancer it is so they know how to treat it. It has a 93% chance of responding to estrogen treatment… another good thing! I don’t know what that means exactly yet, but I’m researching. It will get the staging number after it is removed from my body and the lymph-nodes are dissected. But, so far.. I’m thinking this is not so bad. I’m thinking so positively I am talking my self right out of the mastectomy! With this news I began to back peddle on the mastectomy. Maybe it’s not necessary? I’ve been reading a lot about lumpectomys with radiation treatment and I could save my breast. The thoughts of mastectomy have had me in tears non stop! I can’t imagine… I just can’t do it. At this hesitation the doctor orders one more test, an MRI and wants another biopsy if I chose lumpectomy. It’s worth the extra look to save a ta ta!
Leaving the office I got the referral for the MRI and remarkably I had the MRI done within a few hours and stood back in the doctor’s office with MRI results in my hand by 4p that day. I got an appointment the following week to review the results. Bad news this time. There are 4  tumors in my right breast, three appear to be cancer and it appears on the MRI that two lymph nodes have been affected. Although the left breast appears to be clear on the MRI, I will need a biopsy of the two pre-cancer lesion on that side. Okay, time to take some of that anti-anxiety medicine.
New Year’s Eve. the phone rang and the Doctor was calling to check on me. “How are you”? she says.
“Not a good day,” I responded.
“What’s wrong, Sheri”? she said directly.
“It has all just caught me by surprise,” I said weeping.
Boldly the Doctor called me to reality, “No it has not, you did not get your mammogram screening since 2007, why is that? It was because you didn’t want to know.”
Resolved to the truth I said, “You’re right.”
“So we are doing a double mastectomy,”  she questioned?
“Yes,”…. I said simply.
With that we had a few giggles about what party animals we are NOT. She encouraged that I not spend a quite evening at home, but to go out and have some fun. Doctor’s orders. I fell asleep on the couch at 9p on New Year’s Eve. Woke up right at midnight to watch the count down and said to myself… “this is going to be a rough year.”

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