On Thursday the nurse from Fairhaven called after office hours, and scheduled me with my Dr. who wasn't even in the office on Friday for 1:45. I figured something was up, but tried not to assume the worst. On Friday we met with Dr. Simon my GYN. He came in shook my hand and said, "You aren't worried are you?" For about a minute I felt a little better. We moved to a conference room where he began... "Well" he said, "we have a couple of options. We have you scheduled with 2 doctors who deal with breast cancer." WHAT? WAIT? What did you say??? Was all that was running through my mind. He proceeded to tell us that they scheduled us with a Dr. in Ft. Wayne and one in Goshen so we had the option of where we wanted to go. We left the office to discuss the options, the last thing I remember was Nate asking if I was ok, and then just feeling hot tears and lack of breath, and going weak in the knees.
We drove around Goshen for a bit, to try and comprehend, and make a wise decision about what doctor to see. We decided to stay in Goshen because 1. that doctor could see me at 3:30 and 2. our family and support system is mostly there.
3:30pm - We met with Dr. Henry at The Retreat. He first went over my medical history, and then took us to an exam room where he did a brief exam. For the next hour he talked about 5 basic steps of what we are facing, and answered some of our questions. He informed us that because there are 2 spots, and several other suspicious looking areas his recommendation is a complete mastectomy of the right side. He scheduled an MRI for this coming Monday afternoon at 2pm, and said surgery could take place as early as this week if we choose. The MRI will let us know how big the cancer is and if there is anything suspicious on the left said that would maybe prompt us to do a complete bi-lateral mastectomy (meaning taking off both breast), also if it has spread anywhere else beyond the breast such as the lungs or chest. He informed us of all the risks and statistics, and talked to us about also meeting with a plastic surgeon who would also be involved in the initial removal surgery if we choose to do reconstruction. In which case surgery would not take place until sometime after Aug. 8th. He also talked to us about Chemo and radiation, neither of which has been determined that I need, but he said most likely chemo will be in my future, and we will meet with an Oncologist to discuss that after surgery. One other thing we learned we will have to make a decision on is genetic testing to see if I am a gene carrier and if my children and siblings are at a higher risk because of that. He told us that one of the down falls of doing that is insurance companies will drop us or put us on really high rates, and it will follow us and our kids forever. There are many advantages to it, however, but I don't really remember what he said. We were not given a stage of the cancer nor was it even mentioned. I don't know if that is because the doctor doesn't know yet or if it just was not mentioned.
There were so many other things talked about in that room on Friday I was in and out of reality and tears and even woke up Saturday thinking about what a bad dream I had. In the days, weeks and months to come the nightmare is only going to get worse I can imagine. I've always said, "I can't imagine how people who have cancer deal with it" the fact of it is I still can't even wrap my brain around how people deal with this. I cry uncontrollably for a while, and then go on being ok for a minute. No one can prepare you or be prepared for something like this. I can't help but think about the worst outcome. I'm not yet ready to be optimistic.