I was ecstatic that the discussion I had about my MRI with the radiologist was accurate. The plan really wasn’t changing because the MRI didn’t show details in the left breast. We would schedule surgery. Getting the tissue under the microscope was the only way they could tell the whole truth about it. We hadn’t made any plans past the surgery anyway. There is no need to have chemo and radiation planned if you don’t know if you need one or both.
Immediately, I was referred to a plastic surgeon because part of my doctor’s plan was reconstruction.
Emotional state is critical to healing and positive self-image is key to this. Reconstruction is not a question unless I just really refuse to have it. And I wasn’t doing that. My job – I have figured out – is to follow instructions that these incredibly smart and experienced people are giving me.
I was incredibly lucky. The plastic surgeon that I was referred to only takes office appointments on Fridays. My doctor’s scheduler called and got me an appointment at 1pm that day – just 2 hours after my appointment with my oncology surgeon. I would have had to wait an entire week if they hadn’t made this effort on my behalf. It had been the same with the MRI. The scheduler did quick work to get me the last appointment that was available in the previous week. Without this great effort, I could be looking at two more weeks of wait time.
So June 12th ended up being a bigger day than we thought it would be when we left home that morning. First of all, the MRI DID reveal something. It showed no evidence (yet) that any cancer is anywhere else but the left breast. Hurray! That COULD mean no radiation or chemo. But looking at the tissue COULD also determine that I need some insurance in the form of one or both of those post-surgery treatments. Oh gee. More waiting. I’m learning to live with a stressed stomach.
The stress is terrible. I’ve only told my parents and siblings and our two daughters. Our personal trainer knows and has prescribed exercises to strengthen my shoulders against any atrophy that will happen after surgery. It’s hard to see people that you want to tell but you don’t want to tell them until you know a surgery date. Otherwise, I would be sort of throwing up a flag that says – hey ya’ll, I have cancer. And that’s all I can tell you.
After meeting the plastic surgeon, I felt very reassured that I was making good decisions. He has a great manner that just makes you feel good about yourself before he even does his magic on you.