For every answer it seems I end up with 10 more questions.
The first plastic surgeon appointment was useful in that it opened up a whole new host of important considerations regarding surgical breast reconstruction processes and my thrombophillia...but in terms of answering my original inquiries it was less fruitful. I'm still no clearer on stuff like how breast conservation will look in my case and what nipple function potential there is, nor did I get satisfactory answers regarding nipple sparing if I go the mastectomy route.
Apparently the immediate breast reconstruction that I would typically have done after a skin sparing mastectomy is a bit more tricky because of my genetic clotting factors. This plastic surgeon, in fact, won't do the kind of reconstruction preferable because of it. I've read about special ways to monitor folks like me so I'm confident other doctors will and can. Oh, and just fyi, this isn't about a risk to my health at all, it's purely about a risk to the newly implanted tissue surviving -- worse case scenario is the new "stuffing" would fail and then would be removed --I'd then just have to use the less preferable saline implant.
I also had my MRI on Friday...since it's the holiday weekend I don't hold much hope for finding out answers before Wednesday. Alot is riding on this test, too. If there are questionable areas in my affected breast they will need further core needle biopsy...and if there are areas in my unaffected breast that will need to be biopsied too, of course. In the end if there is further cancer in my affected breast then a mastectomy is practically a given. If there is cancer in my presently unaffected breast...well, that's a whole 'nother can of worms. Oh, and fyi, the reason it has taken so long to have an MRI is that it's best done at a certain time in a woman's menstrual cycle.
So once again, it's the waiting game, biding time while anticipating test results.
Meanwhile I'm researching my little brains out so that the next plastic surgeon appointment is more productive. I'm also trying to get ready for all potentialities...and shopping is actually a big part of that...
I need certain post surgery clothes: First off, no over the head garments for a while with either surgical option, potentially longer for a mastectomy. Also, at first I'll need a larger size blouse/shirt to accommodate surgical breast and/or abdominal drains, special surgical bra and any swelling, etc. That's hopeful only for a few weeks at most, again, depending on my procedure(s). After that I'll just need my regular size but still nothing that goes on over the head.
So far I've hit Target and Sears, plus went to Lane Bryant as I am already sometimes an XL and there is no other size to go up to. I need uber comfy stuff to hang around the house recuperating in and then stuff that's decent to go for doctor visits or other necessary outings. And since it will be summer, it has to be warm weather clothing, too. I don't have enough yet, but I have a couple things to get me started. But with the exception of one blouse I would probably never have bought any of it if I didn't have these requirements, truth be told.
CLOTHING OF SPECIAL INTEREST TO THOSE WITH BREAST CANCER:
For anyone reading this who is or could be undergoing breast surgery in the near future, I found a great website: http://www.confidentclothingcompany.com/index.htm She is a fitness trainer and breast cancer survivor who designed active wear for women going through breast cancer treatment. The tops, especially, are VERY useful because they have movable pockets to place your cumbersome surgical drains in rather than trying to pin them to your shirt somehow. The material is also wicking, so good for summer wear and other treatment issues such as hot flashes for those going through chemo and/or hormone suppression.
:D NOW FOR THE GOBS OF GRATITUDE:
Last but by NO means least...I know so many of you have sent me more emails -- bless you a thousand times. I do read every one, just like I read each and every comment here on my blog(s). The last few days have been hectic and now this week looks like more of the same. Trying to make the best decision is taking up all of my time, beyond what I ever could have even imagined. But please, please, please know that reaching out to me in any way and offering me support is SO important, it truly means the world to me and is a crucial part of how I am coping with all of this.
I don't know what I'd do without you, my dear friends. I'll tell you, if I won the lottery tomorrow I would throw the biggest after-treatment party ever envisioned and pay to fly every single one of you & your families all to some exotic location where we'd live it up in one great big celebration, just so I could really show you the depth of my gratitude!
:D Oh my, can you just imagine it, lol???
But in lieu of that, just know that each kind word and thought is sustaining my spirit and giving me strength for myself, and even more importantly so, for my whole little family.
Thank you, and much, much love to all....