My mom and I went to see Dr. Duree, my oncology surgeon today. On the up side, she can tell by my blood tests and talking to me that I am doing remarkably well on chemo. During her examination, she said that the lymph nodes on my right side that were once so prominent are not. She went so far as to state that if she would have simply read my diagnosis and felt the nodes, she would have been speculative of the diagnosis.
All that being said, a strong proponent of breast preservation, Dr. Duree is recommending mastectomy. The PET scan that I had prior to the start of chemo showed that my breast tumor was too close in proximity to the muscle of my chest wall to warrant a lumpectomy. Dr. Duree went on to explain that with the tumor having resided at one point close to the muscle, there is chance of micro disease in the muscle of my chest wall - something she cannot examine without performing a mastectomy. This I understand - I was just not prepared to hear.
When I first started this journey, I thought of my breasts as appendages who had already done their job - merely an a part of my anatomy. My journey became more real when I lost my hair. I mourned my hair in a way I never expected that I would. When my hair was all gone, I told several confidants that I do not know how I could ever handle losing my breasts after what I went through with my hair, where I had mostly put on a brave face and smiled. Today, my face was not so brave. I cried. My mom cried. Dr. Duree was nearly in tears. Steve came home from work to be with me.
There is still time for second opinions. Although, surgery looks like it may be at the beginning of April. Dr. Duree feels strongly that surgery should occur two weeks after chemo ends. As soon as my white counts are back up. Since chemo does not end until March 15, I have time to sit with this and hopefully come to terms. I will try to do my best to put on a brave face and go back to the thought that they are just appendages. People do this every day and are happier and healthier for it.
An update on the chemo side of things...two days out and I am positively wiped. I feel like have done nothing but sleep. I was much more active the last two times around. I did enjoy Cocoa's this morning with mom and the visit to the Charger's store! Got some great new gear to wear to the game on Sunday (thanks, Mom!). Yes, I am going - chemo will not keep me away for sure! Go Bolts!