The decision you can (almost) take back

After the MRI results came back I needed to schedule an appointment with my breast surgeon.  It just so happened that she had an opening on Monday.  It also just so happened that I had another appointment with the plastic surgeon that same morning.  Convenient.

Derek would be out of town so I enlisted the help of two wonderful friends to drive me to and fro and to listen to doctors because, lets face it, there are some days I can’t remember if I put pants on.  The were so gracious to drive all the way up to my house, in traffic.  Then they drove me to the University of Washington, in traffic.  I bought them lunch.  I not a total asshole.

The first appointment with the plastic surgeon was fine.  I like the surgeon.  He was forthright and honest.  He answered all of my questions.  I told him I was leaning toward the DIEP flap reconstruction method and he told me all about it and what to expect.  My decision stems from the fact that I’m young and will outlive implants.  In addition, I’d like whatever gets put back to be as natural as possible.

Questions answered, we spent the afternoon lunching and shopping.  It was a nice distraction.

The second appointment was at SCCA.  This place is growing on me, but I still get anxious every time I go.

We met with the breast surgeon and discussed surgery.  I got the written MRI report and she explained what to expect from the mastectomy.  We discussed pros and cons and then came the decision time.  While she would have given me more time we both know that time is really of the essence here.  

The choice I was facing was single or double mastectomy.  The scans thus far are showing disease only in the left breast with no lymph node involvement.  Medically, a single mastectomy is only warranted.  However, that would leave a breast remaining that has the potential to get breast cancer in the future.  This isn’t to say that it will, but there is always the possibility.

I am waiting on results from genetic testing.  The intention was to use that as a guide to make a clear cut decision.  However, results for that test won’t be back for at least another week.  Decisions need to be made sooner rather than later.

To my surgeon’s credit, she did give me as many options as possible to make the choice easier.  

I had an leaning.  I’ve milled it over.  It is what keeps me awake at night.  Do I do the surgery that is minimal and live with the thought that it might come back?  Or do I go for the bigger surgery and have peace of mind?  That being said the peace of mind still comes with a 3% risk.

I didn’t want to make this decision without my husband.  However, I don’t want to have cancer either.  I want this done.  I need to move forward with treatment.  I ripped off the bandaid and went for it.

On April 12, I will undergo a double mastectomy with delayed reconstruction.

I am at peace with the decision.  The surgeon did say I could always change my mind right up until the day of surgery.  However, I don’t believe that will be the case.  I want to watch my son grow up.  I want to grow old with my husband.  I want to see the world.  I’m not finished yet.  I do not want to live with this shadow of worry.  I don’t want to think that every ache and pain could be the cancer coming back.

I can do this.

21 Comment

  1. Lee says: Reply

    Yes, you can. I love you so!!
    XO, Lee

  2. Mom says: Reply

    I love your strength and honesty. Fear exists (it’s inevitable) with cancer, but you will crest to the other side and grow old with Derek, Oleg, and your grandchildren. What seems like life altering decisions will only give you more strength as you age and face other dilemmas. Yes, it’s a mountain. Yes, yes, and yes.
    I love you so much and my heart aches that my baby has to go through this. You ARE a survivor. ??????

  3. Alicia says: Reply

    You got this! And we got you! <3

  4. Alicia says: Reply

    You got this!

  5. Clea Ranniger says: Reply

    You are amazing!

  6. Nathe says: Reply

    <3 <3
    What? It's allergies.

  7. Joel says: Reply

    We’re not done with you yet, either!

  8. Ronda Farrell says: Reply

    You can do this. We all have faith in you. Much less important but when I was facing thyroid surgery they wanted to remove one side that was enlarged. I knew eventually the other side might blow up. I opted for all at once and also asked they biopsy it while I was in surgery rather than wait and go back to look at the lymph nodes. All clear on the table. The next week I found out the side they weren’t going to take out had cancer. I am so glad I had them do it all at once. You made the best decision you can. You can do this.

  9. Karen Irwin says: Reply

    You. Can. You. Will. ????????????

  10. Gretchen says: Reply

    A brave decision that brings you peace…the healing has begun. Love you sister!!??????

  11. Heather says: Reply

    You can, and you will!

  12. Jessica says: Reply

    You’ve got this! Love you!

  13. Missy,
    You’re making some strong decisions. I applaud your direction. You are in my heart and my prayers. Please call if you want to talk. 360-791-9000. Love to you and Derek,

  14. Dave says: Reply


  15. Charlie says: Reply

    You can do this. You are inspiring others with your courage.

  16. Gaye says: Reply

    You are a warrior and you got this!!! Love you!!

  17. Rachel says: Reply

    You got this!

  18. Janet Bartel says: Reply

    Missy, I can’t imagine what you are going through but my heart aches that you have to deal with it. Your posts are inspiring and your strength and courage comes shining through. You have a lot of folks pulling for you and praying too. You can do it and God will give you the strength. Love Aunt Jan

  19. Traci says: Reply

    Love you.???????? You can do this.

  20. Jenny says: Reply

    Sometimes bigger is better. You won’t second guess this decision. Thinking of you!

  21. Diana Dunne says: Reply

    Keeping you continually in my prayers…
    Aunt Diana

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