This past Friday Chad and I met with the surgeon to talk about the option of mastectomy. It had been a long day and our meeting followed over an hour wait, I was not in the best of spirits.
It seems the new thinking in treatment for stage 4 breast cancer is to consider mastectomy under certain conditions. Three years ago when I was diagnosed there was active cancer in many places in my body. Over the course of treatment all but the cancer under my left arm and in that breast has been restrained into dormancy. The burden of disease exists now in the left breast/under arm area. A mastectomy can remove all of the active cancer, hopefully offering me a prolonged life span and some time free from active disease.
Statistics already show that women who have a mastectomy under these same conditions live longer. So, like it or not, a mastectomy will be in my near future. We go again to Scarborough on September 9 to hear the results of the planning meeting the oncologist, radiologist and surgeon will have regarding my case. (The heretofore radiation plan has been set aside.)
It was difficult to keep up with the ever-changing plans, and once again I was reminded that I have to be my own best advocate. Doctors do not consider the plans patients have to make to manage treatment, for us it means Chad having to arrange for time off work, childcare for our son, living and transportation arrangements for me as I will have treatment away from home, etc. We were making plans as each option came to the table. Now we will wait until the 9th of September to make any arrangements.
My oncologist didn’t tell us she considered mastectomy the best option, we learned of her opinion through talking with the radiologist. She had told us radiation was the best option. It was harder to absorb the mastectomy option information because it was not what I wanted to hear. When the nurse called to arrange an appointment with the surgeon, I was still in the midst of adjusting to the radiation plans- challenging.
I am now adjusting to the mastectomy idea, I cried a bit but I’m moving past tears because I know the best thing for my health is a positive attitude. Many women have gone through this process, I am going to be fine. Meanwhile, the weather is wonderful and life goes on. Soon I will order my monthly batch of good books and movies, something to look forward to. I’m also enjoying getting ready for my new blog… Best, XX C