No really, this post will probably be the most explicit. And the most angry (though i have chilled out considerably since friday morning). I apologize ahead of time for any use of profanity and if i start to make you uncomfortable with the frankness with which i talk about my boob...you can always click on the little X in the upper right corner of your screen. It will not hurt my feelings. I promise. That being said...
I'm not really sure where to start. Do i tell you about the appointment then explain what i Thought was going to happen? Or do i tell you what my expectations Were and you can watched them being dashed as i recount my fateful friday morning appointment.
In my small optimistic mind surgery was going to be my cure-all...yes the Dr. K and Becca had maybe mentioned that i would not really ever be cured...and mom and dad tried to explain that cancer would be something i had to deal with the rest of my life...But deep down i figured they were all wrong. I would have a double masectomy and all of my troubles would be over with...no boobs equals no cancer...sitting in the large waiting area of the surgery floor i was thinking the appointment would be a piece of cake. I walk in, she tells me when surgery is, I walk out...no biggie.
Instead, my surgeon (Dr. L) takes the blunt, direct approach and more forcefully than anyone before her hammers home the fact that i will not be cured. ever. not even with surgery. now that i have stage four breast cancer that has spread into bone cancer a clean bill of health is not in my future. For the first time since being diagnosed i was VERY angry with the midwife that batted my concerns aside when i was 22 which left my tumor another entire year to slowly develop and spread. I cursed her name (not specifically because i don't remember what it was...but you get the gist) and wished bodily harm upon her (not really but again you get the idea). Dr. L explains that we have 2 options.
Option 1- Have masectomy. which would leave me with only one boob on one side and a lone, long scar on the other. From there I would either...
a) wear a prothesis
b) convince and force a plastic surgeon to put in an implant
Then Dr. K would have to find a new way to keep track of what my other tumors are doing...most likely by PET scans and bone scans.
Option 2- Not have masectomy. This would make it easier to track the progress of the medicine.
Dr. L asked me a few very good thought provoking questions that she thought would make the decision making process easier.
1) Does it hurt physically?
2) Does it hurt pschyologically?
The answers were sometimes and sometimes.
It is not traumatizing for me to look at it every time i get out of the shower. But somedays I get tired of looking at it. I get tired of knowing that it is there. But the alternative of having only one breast sounds even worse. I AM ONLY 24! i am not some 50 year old (no offense) I want to be able to go to the beach in my favorite black bikini and not have this issue! I DO NOT WANT TO HAVE CANCER ANYMORE! I really just want it to go away. And as i'm having my shallow breakdown about not being able to feel normal or pretty or wear a bathing suit to the beach i start to cry. Because it is not fair. Its only the third time i've cried about Actually having cancer. The last time was when i got my hair cut (you can reread the previous blog on that if you have forgotten). I'm just a kid. and i want to have two boobs. Seriously. I dont want to take off my shirt and have one that's MIA. Its really hard to explain without sounding like a shallow ungrateful maniac. Some people have got it a lot worse than i do. But dammit i'm pissed. I want my idealistic cure-all back. And I do not want to have to live my life with stupid fucking cancer.
And i told my surgeon that it fucking sucks. And you know, she actually repeated the exact same sentiment in nearly the same words...minus the profanity of course...which is the first time a doctor has been honest...none of the "oh, we will fix you right up as long as your taking your meds and blah blah blah" she honestly told me that she could not make it better. And she was direct and sincere when she said "this really sucks"
So since she hadnt seen my boob since the day she diagnosed me she wanted to take a look to see if she could see any progress. And when she did the ultrasound she said that it looked like it had shrunk a lot. But it was shrinking from my chest wall out so the tumor was now concentrated mostly under my nipple. And being the brilliant surgeon that she is said she could do a lumpectomy (or more accurately a nipple-ectomy, though that is not a real medical term) where she would remove the nipple and the majority of the tumor that was below it. So i would have a horizontal scar going across my boob....but i would still have one! well i would have two total...but i would get to keep this boob and not be in the hospital for days or in tons of pain from a masectomy and reconstruction. And i would still be able to wear my bikini when summer hits. (Yay!)
But we have to run this all by Dr. K on the 6th when i have my monthly appointment.
And i'm still weighing all of my options and all of the pros and cons.
Maybe i'll make a Venn Diagram (haha those actually look like a set of boobs overlapping).