Elective masectomy, that's me

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Nov 13, 2014.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    In 1996 I had a stage 0 cancerous pinpoint in a microcalification of my left breast. It was very controllable and most women would have, without blinking twice, have opted for a lumpectomy. Or even just watching it because it wasn't an immediate threat and had not spread anywhere.

    Well, me being me with my anxiety I said I wanted a masectomy. My dear, dear husband understood and supported me and I had one. Since it was not a radical masectomy, it was really not a big operation and I recovered fast, vacumming with my other hand two days later because I was antsy and couldn't stand the rug.

    It didn't surface again...until today.

    I went for my yearly mammo, which I never miss. They called me back in the imaging room from the waiting room andwanted to have another mammo... and my stomach tweaked a bit. I had another one, which the X-ray tech explained was a larger one so that the radiologist could see it larger and see if I needed an ultrasound. The x-ray tech let me see my ex-ray and it was really cool. I'd never seen a microcalification before. Apparently there were some there that were not there last year. Now they are NOT cancer, but can hold itty bitty cancers in them, which would warrent their removal. So...

    I got called back again from the waiting room and I was not happy and was a little nervous, but, hey, I went willingly. The Radiologist, whom everyone says is very thorough, which I think it s good thing, wanted the ultra-sound, which showed up not only the microcalcification but a lymph node that had not been there last year. I'd had a lymph node before, and it was benign, but being Mr. Conservative, he also did a songogram. I was at the hospital for a long time.

    Everyone was so sweet and reassuring. I felt warm and fuzzy. The results will be back Tuesday or Wednesday. I was assured that this is not life threatening. That if the worst comes back, and the lymph node is cancer, it would be a Stage II and also higly curable and that a mastectomy would take care of it. That's all well and good, but what if it all comes back, well, different than last year, but cancer free?

    I had a long talk with my doctor's MA (can't believe this angel took so much time with me) and asked if I could just have a mastectomy, since that breast was at risk and since I just plain couldn't handle the stress of worrying about breast cancer every single year. She talked to me and assured me that if I wanted this, the surgeon would do it with my history both of stage 0 breast cancer in my other breast and the new microcalification surprises plus lymph node in the other breast. My husband was with me every step of the way. I mean, I bless his wonderful, always-there support. We decided, as we drove home, that I would have the mastectomy even if there is no cancer...yet. And so the decision is a done deal. And I still don't know if there is any cancer. Either way, the breast is gone. I will be the breastless wonder :) And, no, I have no desire for surgery to enhance my breasts. I will just wear prosthetic bras.

    Please send prayers. I am kind of scared. Not REAL scared, but kind of. But it will be what it is. And I have a busy weekend at work and will not allow myself to dwell on the results, which won't come yet. Either way, the decision has been made. It is final. DONE!!!! ;)

    I just wanted to share this with my board family and friends. by the way, I did have the BRCA-1 test and it was negative. I did have a few red flags...the cancerous first microcalification showed up at age 43, which is young. Also, my famly is 100% Akanazi Jewish. No, I do not in any way stay connected to that religion, but it is my ethnicity and the rate of the BRCA-1 gene is higher amongst us.

    Ok, no responses needed. Just a vent. Over and out :) I have to get my beauty rest (haha...there's not enough hours in the night....) so that I can look good for work in the morning.

    You all take care and get those mammos. They are lifesaving.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2014
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Bless you MWM. I'm sending my prayers and warm, healing wishes as well a a big hug for my strong, brave and whimsical buddy..........we've got your back MWM. Get your beauty sleep now..........
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Aw, thank you RE :) You do what you have to do to stay healthy...for yourself and your SO and grands and, in my case, even my pets.

    You are so kind :)
  4. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    Good luck to you MWM, you seem to have a plan in place and that always makes me feel better!
  5. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Sending prayers and hugs and strength. I'd send breasts but then I would have to break some laws.

    If anyone can do this you can! You are strong and smart and funny. YOU can do this!
  6. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Sending calming hugs...
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    OMG, dcst_99!!!!! I just about fell off my chair laughing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  8. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    What a courageous, straight on way of looking at this scary thing, MWM.

    You are very brave.

    Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.


  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thank you all :)

    I should add, this is not life threatening right now. I just don't want to have to freak out about my boobs anymore and I will do just fine without both of them. Never was one of those women who felt I was "less than a woman" because I had a masectomy. Once I had Stage0 cancer in 1996 I asked for the mastectomy so I never had to fret over that breast every again. Most women choose lumpectomies, but I really wanted to part company with that breast. It was cystic, often painful, and made me nervous.

    Since then I have always freaked at my mammos in the other breast and until this year everything always came out completely fine. But this time did it. I'll be glad to put an end to mammos and boobs forever. Maybe I'm weird, but in this case I am glad to be weird...lol. I never want to have a mammogram again!!! ;)

    Appreciate the support!
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2014
  10. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member

    It sounds like you have a good plan and a great attitude towards all of this! Good Luck!
  11. Confused

    Confused Active Member

    You are strong and Im with you in spirit :) You going in yearly and being positive is what will help get you through this. Along with all your family, friends, doctors and us!! It could be nothing- Hang in there.. Many hugs.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, I was told right off that it's not life threatening. That helped. However, untreated, if it is any sort of problem at all, it could get life threatening.

    Believe it or not, with the first problem, mild through it was, I begged the doctor to get rid of both breasts because I figured if one was an issue the other would be too. Of course, he said no. But now I finally have t he doctors saying "No problem." Part of that is my severe anxiety disorder. They are going to tell my insurance company that it is way too stressful for me to go through a mammo every year and that this was the final straw, even if it all comes back normal. And it's not a lie. I do have anxiety disorder. It is far better than it was when I was, say, in my 20's and not able to control my anxiety at all, but it's still there and I am grateful to this team of professionals who care about my well being as well as my health. If there is some early stage cancer, I trust them.There is almost definitely nothing aggressive or advanced there. The team I have is just too wonderful for words and very good.

    There are so many amazing people in this world, aren't there?
  13. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    God Bless Pam - xoxo
  14. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

  15. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I think you are making the best decision you can for your situation overall, Pam. I wish you the very best, an easy time, and as easy and pain free a surgery and recovery as possible.
  16. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    {{{{{{{{{{{{Big Hugs}}}}}}}}}}}}} MWM...
  17. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Sending big hugs and prayers your way.
  18. runawaybunny

    runawaybunny Administrator Staff Member

    Breast cancer runs in my family. My mom battled breast cancer. That was 30 years ago. She is still here. Her sister lost her life to a brutal battle with breast cancer.

    After watching her mother die my cousin opted to have an elective mastectomy several years ago. Her sister made the same choice. Both have been healthy and cancer free since then.

    Given your situation I would make the same choice. It works.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2014
  19. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I totally understand your choice. It would likely be mine also. Of course I support you, I would even if I thought you were wrong.

  20. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks all. Today I get the results. Most likely ductal carcinoma in situ stage 0. And they promised I could have surgery ASAP. I would pick tomorrow if I could. I'm not afraid of surgery because you don't know about it...lol. I don't know if I'm going to ask for any reconstruction. They did it last time and since I gained and lost weight it didn't really work. I'm happy just using special bras. I know that I'm a woman, with or without breasts. In fact, they haven't been my friend...lol.

    I will post later. I am kind of nervous, but i'm going to work and will be busy.