Thursday, April 20, 2017
Reality Sets In
You know that saying that when all around you are losing their heads, it could be that you haven't fully grasped the situation?
Well, yeah, there could be some of that going on here.
Yesterday, I met with my surgeon to talk options and next steps now that I have an official breast cancer diagnosis.
He's frickin' HILARIOUS. But not exactly on purpose. He just has no effs to give --and I like this because you don't get that kind of confidence out of thin air. Also? He's my doctor's surgeon and I really like going to the surgeons my doctors go to. Anyway, he's confident and blunt and sarcastic--my kinda guy.
The news yesterday was that this is more of a big deal than I was expecting. I guess I thought the lumpectomy (if I go that route) would be a lot like the biopsies. A pain, yeah, but I'd just drive myself home.
It turns out it requires general anesthesia (which traditionally makes me barf a lot) and there are a lot of decisions that have to be made around the treatment plan and the follow-up radiation and/or reconstructive surgery. I'm going into heavy research mode now to figure out a treatment plan that aligns with my "least invasive" philosophy but still honors my "I'd like to live cancer-free" philosophy. I believe in the ultimate wisdom of the body and I'm not sure nuking myself into menopause is what I want to do. (Granted, that's on the horizon anyway, but I'm not in any hurry.)
On the other hand, I have cancer in my body that needs to be addressed. And when doctors start talking about margins and "high profile" ratings on my cancer cells, that becomes more urgent.
I guess I've graduated from thinking that this is an inconvenience to thinking that this is a battle that I am preparing to win. The fact that my cancer isn't life-threatening doesn't mean it's not cancer. So, I am gathering the information. I will meet with an oncologist today or tomorrow and a plastic surgeon, in case I want to add that into the mix. I'm trying to get as much information as I can from all camps--from the "holistic sing Kumbaya and pronounce yourself healed" people to the "radical mastectomy, Big Pharma, Better Living Through Chemistry" people. I suspect my treatment plan will lie somewhere in the middle.
I can think of a lot of things to be grateful for --I have pretty decent health insurance through my University, and my professors have been amazing and loving and supportive. I like my doctors. I live in a time of incredibly sophisticated diagnostic technology, which has bought me the time to do the research and choose a path.
And of course, the outpouring of support and love and the number of people holding me and sending love and light has been a simple miracle. Thank you. If I could harness all of that, I'd be well already.