Wednesday, January 7, 2009

TO have a B(reast) OR NOT TO have a B(reast)? That is the Question.

I received the call I'd been waiting for from my surgeon today. The results were back from my MRI and it was not showing anything further to be concerned about. (The thought that MRIs don't always show everything they need to was running through the back of my mind.)

The next step. . . My doctor spoke about doing the surgery, re-section, where they go back into my breast to remove more tissue with the goal of getting clear margins. He also asked me if I'd given any more thought or research into what I wanted to do next. Here comes the tough part, which direction do I move in?

If you remember from my first post, I've actually been wondering if it would be better to completely remove the breast. I make that statement because these are the thoughts that have been running around in my head. . .

The tumor that was removed was near the nipple which doesn't leave much tissue left to be removed.

What happens if the tumor is bigger than they thought?

What if they can not get six clear margins? They'll be removing the breast anyway. (It's imparitive that I get clear margins.)

If I have to remove the breast anyway, I'll just have delayed the inevitable.

A few more "what if" questions, a few more "if they" questions and etc. etc. etc.

Here's one of the biggest decisions I'll make in my life about my life and I'm not sure I'm qualified to make it. I'm waiting to speak with my husband and bounce all the ideas and options off of him. (Saying them aloud makes everything a little more real to me.) I'm also checking with my coordinating support person (from the doctors office/hospital) to see who my oncologist might be and if they've had any experience with ACC of the breast. Maybe this person can add some insight based on the information we have so far.

Ok, it's time to occupy the mind with some other thoughts and activities. Till next time. . .


  1. Ok, my first thought was TAKE THE DARN THING off. But now I am not so sure. If you don't get clear margins, well that is easy. You take it off. But if you get clear margins, you then have to have radiation. And maybe that added benefit is the benefit you need to kill every pesky cell that lurks there...

    But then again, having it off leaves no questions...but if you do reconstruction, that takes a lot of time too.

    The only little stat that I know is that there is a higher chance of a LOCAL recurrence in lumpectomies with this cancer than regular breast cancer. I read this in a few studies. However, there is no significant difference in survival rates between lumpectomy with radiation vs. Mastectomy. But you will HAVE to have radiation, right?

    If it was me in August 2007 it would be OFF WITH THE BOOB! But now, I sort of wish I could have had radiation. I agree--talk to the oncologist. Both mine and my breast surgeon made my recommendation for the mastectomy but only after being fearful they had not gotten it all.

    More soon.


  2. Hey Hon, yes we sure did talk, and talk...and I think we made some progress. Today when we met with the oncologist I felt better, and a little in disbelief as well. I kept thinking what is this guy missing? Is he sure this will work? And then finally it started to sink in, there is hope and a good chance that you will make it without a masectomy. And later if the lumpectomy does not work, as Molly said, off we go. One way or the other your going to beat this. God has more plans in store for you in life, I don't think He is ready for you yet. I think He still wants me to enjoy life with you for years to come.
    Keep going, your going to make it sweetie!

  3. I understand you thoughts. I had the same. my take them both. I am glad I made that choice. It works for me, but everyone is different.You need to go with what is in your heart, ask Jesus to help you make the right decision. If you need someone to talk to I am here for you. Molly is my angel. Without her, my journey would have been alot scarier for me. She help me so so much. Prayers to you