The Mental and Emotional Devastation of Breast Cancer
I had my in office consultation with the surgeon to discuss the diagnosis and pathology report. The formal diagnosis was, an Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma, Grade 2; that is ER+, PR+ and HER2/neu+ receptive. It is a rare Breast Cancer, but treatable because it is hormone driven. First line of treatment, surgery. Because of the diagnosis and chance of recurrence; I elected to have a Bi-lateral Mastectomy with Sentinel Node and Axially Node Dissection if necessary. This decision is part of the Mental and Emotional Devastation caused by a diagnosis of cancer.
Having the Mastectomy is part of the Physical Devastation that begins with a diagnosis of Breast Cancer. The surgery was 3-1/2 hours in duration, because the nodes must go to the pathology lab to be tested for cancer cells. If the hospital has a good and reliable lab to perform the test, it would save the surgeon from having to perform the Axially Node Dissection. This is the event I was praying would happen, unfortunately this was not the case and now I have another health risk to deal with; Lymphedema. This risk can cause loss of arm mobility and excessive swelling in the affected limb.
the key to great care is knowing your body
I performed a lot of research about the Cancer I was diagnosed with, about 72 hours total time. I subscribe to the fact that knowledge is power. In my mind, I was required to be able to make good decisions about my treatment options and care. I needed to know if the Cancer was treatable and the long term prognosis of this disease. I have a great respect for the medical community, but having had a Mom that had been a Nurse, she taught me the key to great care is knowing your body and being able to have input about what course of action will take place. She told me that, you and your doctors are partners in the healing process. Thank you Mummy for all your wisdom and GOD rest your soul.