So, today was Breast Surgeon Day. Part II, actually, as I explained here. I won't go so far as to say I was looking forward to the consultation, but, having waited since last Wednesday for additional info as to my prognosis and recommended treatment, I was rather ready to have it.
In the interim, I've done a bit of work on the education front -- researching DCIS ("Ductile Carcinoma in Situ), and familiarizing myself with such terms as "micropapillary" and "cribriform". Oh and "breast conserving surgery." There's a lot of talk of BCC sprinkled throughout the land of DCIS. Which is why I wasn't horribly surprised when Dr. Surgeon outlined my options today. Yes, I'll admit it -- I was holding out hope that I'd fall into "Monitoring Camp," and simply have to endure more frequent and consistent squishings. So I'm sure my shoulders did droop a bit when the options presented consisted of Lumpectomy + Radiation or Mastectomy, and nothing quite so simple as Keeping a Watchful Eye.
Still, it wasn't shocking news. Dr. Surgeon, whom I must say I really like -- she's sharp and very easy to talk to, felt like we connected right off the bat -- did a great job of describing the disease and the treatment options and their various pros and cons. She also said something very important to me: "You now have a white card (figuratively, not literally) which entitles you to politely ignore the numerous offers of well-meaning advice people will give you based on their aunt or co-worker's treatments and experiences. This is your experience." I laughed when she said that at told her I'd come to the realization that being diagnosed with breast cancer is in some ways similar to being pregnant -- everyone is super nice to you and everyone has a story to share. She laughed, too, and agreed.
Which isn't to say I intend to ignore any of the kind and supportive things people have said and done or will say and do. I feel so very blessed to have as many wonderful people in my life as I do. As much as something like this can tend to make you feel somewhat alone, I've been reminded quite a bit lately how very much that isn't true for me. And I'm so very thankful for that! But I also know I have to do what's right for me, after weighing all of the information I've been given. And, to that end, I'm opting to go the more conservative route (go figure) of lumpectomy and radiation. (Tempting as the thought of reconstruction/expansion might theoretically be, I think I'd rather keep as much of me with me as possible.)
No, I'm not particularly looking forward to surgery (scheduled for about three weeks from now), although Dr. Surgeon assured me it would only knock me out of commission for a couple days. And six weeks of radiation sounds about as fun as having sand in your shorts. Permanently. But there are people who've endured far worse and, in the whole scheme of things, this is but a speed bump.
Speaking of which, after my appointment, I stopped off to fill up my car at Waterway. And, being as my car hasn't had a right proper bath in, oh, a good three years, I treated it to one. I think I actually heard it let out a happy sigh as I pulled away from the gas station. Either that, or my radiator's about to blow. But my car sure looks awfully pretty for a change!