Friday, July 24, 2009

Conservation is not conservative enough

Yesterday was tough, today perhaps is even tougher.

I am waiting to speak to the two different doctors from the two different hospitals -- each conversation has the potential to change the course of my life. I am also anticipating either or both of these men possibly getting annoyed at me. Not that I personally care at this point, but frankly I don't want to base my choice in any way on which doctor will put up with answering questions....I'd rather base it on skill, on expertise. Yet if one of the docs is short on patience the last thing I want to think about is them wielding a knife over my breast and me waking up with any surprises (or at least any surprises I don't already know might happen).

Yesteday we saw three different doctors from two hospitals. Two of the docs were from Big Hospital, the breast & plastic surgeons respectively. Plastic surgeon is the one I've liked from the beginning (the only woman in the whole batch)...Breast surgeon is the new one and this was 2nd visit. These are the doctors that want to change incisions...going across the surface to one side and perhaps even under the areola a bit. I'm not happy and their explanations sort of made sense but really, what do I much research can one woman do?

Not to mention the doctors at Little Hospital seem to have no problem going underneath the breast, in fact, it was their own idea, not mine.

If I go with Big Hospital I'll be having the surgery Monday. MONDAY! That alone makes me want to go with the Little Hospital, which is no good reason I know. Little Hospital will be on the 7th. (Clearly I've decided to stop being vague about dates).

Anyway....the main thing I wanted to blog about was the third doctor we saw. She was very nice, competent, and from a completely different hospital then we've been to for all this cancer stuff. As I previously blogged about I wanted to look one more time at conserving some of my breast. I needed to be sure that mastectomy (regardless of where the incision gets placed!) is the best option.

It is. I'm finally convinced now. This woman was very knowledgable and since she knew we were not choosing her as a surgeon it was as if she had nothing to gain or lose by being clear, direct, and informative without trying to convince us to do what she wanted. I felt a keen trust in what she told me and she pointed out some pathology issues from my biopsy that no one else explained to me.

Mastectomy is, I believe, 99.9% the right choice for me. That's about as sure as I'll ever be.

Of course now I'd like to be sure of the how, the who, the when and the where...

Stay tuned!


JJ said...

Looking forward to an update and hope you get all the answers you need to make your decisions.

Something I wanted to mention, in case you happen to go in on Monday. Someone warned me about it so I thought I'd share. Please excuse the TMI!

Something about the surgery for whatever reason tends to bring on your, um monthly visitor. It's happened to many people I know. Mine came early, a few days after surgery while I was still in the hospital. Talk about a kick in the butt! Be prepared!

La Belette Rouge said...

99.9% is as good as it gets. I don't think I believe in 100% certainty. Now that you know what you are doing the who, how, when and where can be decided.
Your commitment to finding the info, MDs, and hospital that are right for you is inspiring. I don't know how you manage it all. You really amaze me.

The Small Fabric Of My Life said...

I don't think you can ever be 100% sure. You are pioneering a very long path that will be helpful to so many others with your painstaking research.
I agree - you amaze me.

Steph H said...

Hang in there, K! And good luck. XOXO

KayeStar said...

My thoughts are with you, and I admire your research. My boyfriends mother was diagnosed at the end of April as well, and I try to be supporting, but it frustrates me how "in the dark" they are and how they are going with the first doctor without getting any other opinions research of thhoughts. Kepp us updated!

Kayleigh said...

Thanks JJ -- not TMI at all! Lol, listen, if discussing my nipple ENDLESSLY isn't TMI then nothing is :D

Aww, thanks Belette...I'm with you, this is as good as it gets in the certainty dept. As to my determination...I'm good at researching, discovering stuff. I like information and I was definitely motivated to get as much as I could for this! It's what comes next that is harder for me...where the panic will come in. When I stop to think of the surgery aftermath, the next steps of chemo and how it will effect my family....that's where I lose it.
In a way all this fact gathering is a distraction.

Oh Jane, love the new blog btw! Thank you :) Yes, a long path indeed and I can only hope that by some small chance ANYTHING I've posted will help someone on the same road.

Thanks Steph! And to you as well when your time comes.

Hi Kaye Star, thank you. I'm sorry to hear about your boyfriend's mom, this is a tough row to hoe. My own mother has BC as well, altho different status and prognosis. Still, she is more like your boyfriend's mom in terms of research.

On the one hand I strongly think research & many dr opinions can be crucial to getting good care. But I understand that everyone is different in their attitude about cancer. I've met many women in many waiting rooms who just wanted IT out, they didn't care what they looked like or how it was done. And while that's clearly not me, I understand and wouldn't necessarily fault them for their feelings. I would, however, always, always, always recommend a minimum of 3 breast surgeon opinions and at least one plastic surgeon consult before letting anyone operate. Breast cancer now is a highly specified disease with many nuances and you need to make sure you are getting the right treatment. Reconstruction after mastectomy or even fixing a potential lumpectomy defect is a variable thing and it's best to at least check in before surgery with a PS...even if one doesn't think they want/need it, better save than sorry. Google is a cancer patient's friend. I wish your boyfriend's mom alot of luck and think it's wonderful you are trying to be supportive.

Chuck Dilmore said...

we are with you, Comrade.
not leavin' without ya.

Imogen Lamport, AICI CIP said...

Nothing in life is 100% in the end, go with your gut feeling.

Good luck!