Time to breathe.
With surgery scheduled for June 28th, we have some down time on our hands. Time to change my mind is more like it. With so many things to consider, I must be driving my oncologist, surgeon and plastic surgeon crazy. I've emailed them all, left them phone messages and re-emailed them after we hung up the phone. They have a lot of patience (no pun intended!). I can be exhausting sometimes - I can admit that. Ask Mike - he'll tell you - I run through every possible scenario and research every option - and question everything before I accept an answer.
So what's been decided? For now, I'm 90% sure I'm going with the bi-lateral mastectomy. Yup, make it a double. I know - it's intense. It's a huge surgery. A huge decision. But let me lay it out for you - and for me again.
If I went the lumpectomy route, I know myself well enough to know that I won't be happy with a depression - a concave area - where the tumor used to be. Because of the size and location of my tumor, it's a very real possibility that I will have not just a crazy scar, but an indention in my chest. I would be unhappy. I would obsess over ways to fill in the dent. And unfortunately, any means of filling in the hole - would subject me to additional anxiety and biopsies. "Fat grafting" is what they called it. Injecting fat into the depressed area in an attempt to fill it back up. But that fat can cause calcifications in the tumor site - leading to unreliable mammos and more needles poking me to find out whether not it's the fat deposit or cancer.
And what if it was cancer again? What if - by having the lumpectomy - I gave the cancer a better chance at coming back than if I would have had the mastectomies? And if I did decide to have the mastectomies down the line because it did come back, reconstruction would be difficult because I would have had radiation.
I want to close this chapter of our lives as quickly as possible - and I believe that the double mastectomies will give that to me. It is drastic - aggressive - more than what seems necessary, especially because I don't feel sick so it almost feels elective - but really - it seems to be the best option for me. I don't want complications down the line if I needed to do reconstruction. I don't want to be anxious every time I feel a lump or a bump. And what if this cancer returned with a vengeance? I'm not ready to leave Mike and my family anytime soon. I'd rather have a lower chance of recurrence going into the many years ahead of me, instead of having my recurrence rate go up with every year that passes.
So for now - that's where I'm at. There is a sense of relief in having made a decision and going forward. My surgeon told me that I should just make a decision and go forward with it. And she's right. It is easier to accept a decision once it's made. I won't say that I'm fully confident in my choice, but - I've got three weeks to get there.