Let’s get this party started!Posted: September 11, 2013
I’ve been in a hold pattern for the last two weeks. it’s been driving me crazy!!! Too many things to look at and research. Major anxiety. UGH! I can’t stands no more! Finally though, we are rolling again.
I had my first appointment with my surgeon, Dr. M, today. She is WONDERFUL!!! She is kind and caring and I instantly felt at ease with her. She is the protege of the doctor that brought the lumpectomy procedure from Europe to the US and got it started as a cancer surgery option. She also has a great sense of humor and has no issues with my curious nature. She had put a lot of thought into what she wanted the next steps to be and I can tell that she totally gets my entire health picture.
So here we go –
There is no surgery schedule yet.
Apparently there is a collection of calcifications in my breast that measure 11cm across – basically my entire breast. Most women over 40 have these calcifications and they are usually benign. You can get them from drinking Iced Tea (which you know I mainline). She needs to see if they contain cancer or if they are nothing.
If they do contain cancer – then I might just get my left breast removed.
If they do not contain cancer, then I might get a lumpectomy.
I will not be getting a full mastectomy as she refuses to do more surgery than I need. So I will be lopsided and that should be interesting. There goes my dream of smaller shirts.
I say “might” get surgery because my white cells are down to zero and my platelets are at 33k. White cells need to exist and my platelets need to be at last 100k before surgery. I can get a ton of platelet transfusions to bring me up to that level but the lack of whites make it risky. Basically I CANNOT get sick.
So ONCE AGAIN, I have to set up rules that start tomorrow:
1. I have to stop hanging out with little ones and school age children in enclosed spaces. Outside a park or at outside tables at Starbucks, for example, would be fine as long as they aren’t sick or have been exposed to anything.
2. I can’t be around anyone who might be sick or has just been sick
3. Masks in public places. Also medical gloves at stores.
4. Have to eat a Neutropenic diet mixed with a gluten-freer diet
5. No eating out for me for the next 6 months to a year. However, I WILL still be getting my Brandon’s Iced Teas. I will just have to wear a mask while I sit there.
To find out if the wall of calcifications are cancerous, I have to have a Breast MRI.
Talk about having to deal with deep seeded fears all within a month!
Luckily, the doc had to have one last year. it still sounds horrible but, for a BMRI, you lay on your stomach and don’t have to stare at the tube in your face. I freaked out when she told me but then I just dealt and told her I would do my best. Apparently there is a panic button involved – so goodie! I’m also taking Ativan the night before, the morning of and just before!! I won’t care where I am!
As an aside:
I was going to get an Open MRI but I found out that USC doesn’t do those and I would have to find a place. I asked Dr. M how she would get the results and she said that they usually just got a written report. If I do it at USC, the images and reports will be in their new medical record system and can be accessed anywhere and much quicker. So basically, I’m doing the non-Open Scary MRI for better data exchange reasons.
I am SUCH A GEEK!!!
That will probably be next week and then the next week, I meet with her, my hematologist and a new doctor, my oncologist (still unknown but the names she gave me were my top two choices when I researched every oncologist at USC) and come up with a treatment plan. It will definitely include hormone therapy (eg, Tamoxifen) and perhaps radiation. The type of cancer I have is a surgical cancer but that surgery is still up in the air.
I’ve also been told to take Ativan every day and try to meditate or take short walks every day as my blood pressure is through the roof. (Try 187/102 today).
I was hoping to have more concrete plans but I’m happy now that things are starting to move forward again!