Friday, October 4, 2013

It's NOT the Same

Yesterday, we met with a surgeon. He was such a nice guy. Very compassionate, very kind. This is what he told us:
- No lumpectomy for me
- All three of the common treatments: surgery, chemo, radiation
- His wife had breast cancer about 10 years ago

I get super anxious and paranoid about cancer spreading - it could be anywhere! He kindly tells me that it's unlikely that there is spread. I don't back down, so he orders a PET scan to make me happy. It works.

Today, we went to the tumor board and he represented us. The tumor board is an awesome thing. All cancer patients at this hospital + medical center go to tumor board. A doctor takes your paperwork and info and presents it to a group of doctors. They are surgeons, radiologists, oncologists, plastic surgeons, etc. The nurse navigator tell me that an uncommon number of doctors have turned up for my tumor board. I am special - clearly, yes.

In the waiting room, we are accompanied by a very sweet volunteer. She tells us her survivor story. I cannot relate.

After the doctors meet, our surgeon representative comes back in and tells us their recommendations. They are essentially the same as his: surgery, then chemo, then radiation, then reconstruction. Chris wants reconstruction in the same surgery as the mastectomy. They also want to do a genetic test to see if I have a gene mutation. Stuff just seems to be spiraling...

Chris and I are still bargaining - can we skip chemo? Can we do less Tamoxifen? How are we going to squeeze babies into this equation??? The doctor says that we should do everything as prescribed. He recommends egg freezing, but they don't want me to do the fertility meds. When we become frustrated, the surgeon tells Chris, "I know it's frustrating - I was in your shoes ten years ago."

I resist the urge to yell, "It's NOT THE SAME. You already had kids, you shared a life together."

I don't really hear a lot after that.

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