Thursday, March 20, 2008

1 year checkup: Day 2

Let me just start off by saying what you might want to know right off: I got a CLEAN bill of health! :)

First appointment wasn't until 1130 today, so we got to enjoy our morning. Actually, it started GREAT!! The piano tuner came this morning. The poor thing hadn't been tuned for at least 10 years, plus the fact that it had sat in storage for several years.

I went to Dr. Green first. She hadn't gotten the results of the CAT scan yet and will call me Friday or Monday. Talked about how Tamoxifen was going (going well). Night sweats that I can take meds for, but I opted out of it. Even thought they do come almost every night, they don't last long. The med she'd put me is actually an anti-depressant, but apparently takes care of the sweats. We talked about chances of recurrence and she said that right now I have a lower percentage chance of getting cancer again because of the Tamoxifen. Where most people (w/o cancer) have a 12% chance of getting breast cancer, mine is lowered to 10% over my lifetime. She said the choice to have a prophylactic mastectomy was pretty much a personal fear thing at this point, but that my odds looked great. I had gotten this from my plastics guy and PA as well.

Then off to mammography. They were running a good hour behind and I should have enjoyed it while I had it!! lol Oh gosh! She took her first set of scans. Four of them. (For anyone wondering, NO, you do NOT get the mastectomy side scanned! I always wondered myself and you really just don't know if you don't ask!) Anyway, she took the scans back to the person that reads the scans and she had to re-do one....looks like calcification in the breast. So takes that scan back and comes back again..need some more scans..the calcification is on the chest wall. That is why the mammogram is so awkward and painful..she's not really having to get the fleshy part..but near the chest. AND!!! After the first round of scans she asked me if I had lost a lot of weight over the past year. I laughed NO!! She said comparing the scans from my last set...I looked smaller! Is that possible?! Could I be ANY smaller ?!!! lol Anyhoo, she comes back with with need a magnification of the last scans, so she does 2 more. When she finishes I ask how many scans she did. Seven. Seven? I say. It felt more like 20. She does tell me that everything looks good on it. The calcification looks vascular, which was good.

Then to see Dr. original doctor. I see his PA first, who does an exam, then talk with Dr. Ross, who also does an exam...oh brother. So I've had THREE breast exams today PLUS you don't even want to know what all went on doing the mammograms!!! He says the mammograms came out good and that he was pleased with everything and talked with me a while. I was talking with him about the insurance company accepting/not accepting an elective surgery. He said they (insurance) would accept it...he would have to say that I was emotionally distraught from the fear. Well, after talking with other patients and hearing what all the doctors recommended, I am not going to do anything more than the "balancing act" with the right side. Dr. Ross said I wouldn't be able to take anything from the tummy again and I do NOT want to do it from my back. I do remind myself that fear is not from God, so I leave this burden to Him to take for is not mine any more.

Personally, this is a damned if you do and damned if you don't situation. Everyone has their own opinion...and each think that their way is best...and make you feel as though theirs is what is best and that you're getting a lesser treatment. I do know I am comfortable with what my doctors have told me about my particular case.

So, we're coming down the elevator to leave and I get a call from Dr. Kronowitz' nurse who is working on getting down appointments. She pencils me in for August 25th. I say, uh, that's like the first week of school!!! So, she finds a place in July instead and recounts what all Dr. K would like to "fix" including whatever is wrong with the abdomen where it hurts. Looks like I could still teach summer school and be able to get this surgery done and have recovery time before the next school year starts.