A Healing Journey… Chapter 4

A week later, I attended the counseling session for genetic testing, its importance, and how the results could affect the need for both breasts to be removed rather than run the risk of the cancer returning in my right breast. I know that everyone is removing both breasts these days, and while it seems a little extreme, I fully understand the logic in just doing the operation/recovery/reconstruction one time. I took the test…mouthwash being swished around then spit into a test tube at least 20cc’s worth of fluid. It would be 2-3 weeks before I had the results. I thanked the nurses for their time and detailed explanation then headed off to meet with the plastic surgeon.

The plastic surgeon welcome me, asked me to put on a robe and began her process. She found the lumps, examined the incisions, then took a picture of the girls for reconstructive purposes. I changed back into my clothes and with my husband, headed toward her office to discuss reconstructive surgery. At this point in my process I had decided to have the left breast removed and not do reconstructive surgery. Sadly, I didn’t want to miss any more work than I needed to being that I’m still fairly new. No reconstruction means less missed time. She seemed irritated that I wasn’t buying what she was selling, literally and metaphorically speaking…

I left with my husband, both of us on sensory overload from the information received. When we got to the car, I lit a cigarette, looked at him and said “Oh my god…too much information in a two hour span. I’m exhausted.” We had absorbed so much information, so many pros and cons to the various elements involved in this process, so many details, and so many options to consider. The doctors were open and honest which I appreciated, but two consultations in one day proved to be one too many. We had much to discuss and think about, and of course, discuss with my family.

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