@colleenyoung and others – I am back; I had a lot going on for the past several months, including the discovery I had Breast Cancer. Who, ME? Certainly NOT ME! Well … YES, ME! DCIS — right breast. I found it because I insisted on a “Diagnostic Mammogram” … And it was found. It was not palpable; I had no pain; no discharge; no signs of anything … I just had a “feeling”, not a category found on the sheet you are going to fill out prior to an annual mammogram! But the category that doesn’t exist (Feeling something is NOT right) allowed me to catch it at a very early stage. DCIS is the “better” type of breast cancer. If you MUST have breast cancer, well, this is the one to pick! OK .. This was meant to make you laugh!!!
I had a lumpectomy in the right breast, with breast reconstruction (both breasts). Should have been pretty easy; however, it has been a very difficult road for me — Yes, everyone IS different! I had a hematoma in the left breast; another 3-hrs surgery 36 hours after the first (6-hrs)… Lots of problems and pain … CT scan of the lungs … I requested the use of the latest tools and techniques during surgery and to discover my “risk”. I am in the higher range, as risk goes. The top margin was too close for comfort, and I had (have?) multiple cancerous sites.
Count me among those who have a strong fear or radiation, and initially, I did not want to do anything but another surgery. Couldn’t be done. No more tissue to take (according to the breast surgeon). I am categorized as a “unique patient” … I ask a lot of questions and want to plan things. GO FIGURE! Shouldn’t we all have that right? I think so! BUT be ready to become “the” patient people address as — “Oh, it’s you!” … I choose to think of it as an “endearing term”! Yes! It is ME!!
My medical Oncologist recommended I take one of three “Aromatase Inhibitors” — The pill you would take daily for 5 years, in order to “kill” your Estrogen and Progesterone — My cancer is 99+% receptive to both. By the way, that means I was feeding my type of cancer by taking HRT daily. Lovely news, but at least, I could do something — I stopped taking the pills immediately following the Mammogram … Just in case. And I was right to do so. But I refused the Aromatase Inhibitors; at least for now. I don’t see the great advantage of taking those pills after having stopped the HRT. Also, the side effects are really pretty bad for most people! I will ask for tests to measure my hormones, later on.
My Radiation Oncologist was very concerned because I was not at all prone to doing radiation therapy. I needed “facts” to make a decision. I didn’t want to damage my lungs and heart. Well, we had a very good and lengthy meeting — He explained everything and I made the decision to have radiation. Difficult decision, in part due to the fact that my husband’s first wife passed away from breast cancer. This has been VERY difficult for him! So … Today I go to get “mapped” and ready for the first session — Tomorrow, 12 Feb. I am truly dreading it!!!
Stay healthy! Dee