"As soon as you're diagnosed with breast cancer, you desperately try to figure out how it could have happened. You analyze your life a thousand times over, rack your brains searching for THE reason, beat your head against the wall, experience endless guilt. All you get is a headache. Drop it! Save your precious energy for your health and well-being." Maris Weiss, M.D.
I've be given the blessing of a second diagnosis of breast cancer. It's different this time. (I can say it is different after having the full diagnosis and being armed to the teeth with knowledge....I don't care what anyone says...knowledge is power.) I feel no fear this time. I felt nothing but fear last time. I felt like the cancer demons were nipping at my heels. This time...I have a 'PLAN'.
This isn't a recurrence of the last breast cancer. My body wanted to generate an entirely different kind since we found a way to beat the last one. Last time, it was Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. This time it is just measly Ductal Carinoma In Situ. All contained in the ductal region of the breast. Not even strong enough to break out yet. We can take our time and map out a real plan to conquer this one. So....here's the 'PLAN'.
Yesterday, we went to see the Breast Health Specialist at the Breast Center, Sandy Cross. She made several recommendations. I've added some of her recommendations to my 'PLAN'. Sandy felt because my body had generated two completely different types of breast cancer within a 4 year span that it would be a good idea (just in case I had a gene mutation that would continue to cause me to grow breast cancer over and over) to have a double mastectomy as opposed to a single mastectomy. She suggested I see a geneticist counselor. We have TIME to make these decisions with this type of cancer.
Today we went to see the Geneticist Counselor, Amy George, to talk about checking my genes for possible gene mutations. (Step 1 of the 'PLAN') She agreed that with two different types of breast cancer that it was a good idea to check. If I have a gene mutation, then I will have a double mastectomy, if I do not, we will do a single.
We also talked to my Cancer Doc, Dr. Waples. He talked to us about no chemo 'at this time' BUT if they found other invasive cancer cells when they do the biopsies on the breast tissue they remove, that I may need chemo after all. I am supposedly not allowed to get my hopes up about 'no chemo' yet. He also told us to keep our options open about reconstruction. He says they've come a long way with breast implants but does not recommend using body tissue to rebuild the breasts. He wants us to talk to a plastic surgeon and hear what they have to say.
Step 2 of the PLAN is to discuss options with Dr Sheppard our surgeon tomorrow. We're having a bit of trouble getting a good plastic surgeon that is in the tricare family. There are only three in the area and none of them are ones that my cancer doc recommends. We'll see what Dr. Sheppard says. Since we cannot have radiation a second time on the same breast, we know that we have to have a mastectomy on at least one breast.
Step 3 is either the implant surgery or just recovery. No radiation and hopefully, no chemotherapy. Doesn't really sound like I know the PLAN very well does it?
BUT, it sounds super simple, huh? It's nothing at all for my God to take care of. After all, it's all in God's PLAN, not mine. I'm just waiting to see where He takes me.
By Grace Alone...