Our discussion went on for about 20 minutes with her being obviously agitated by me. She kept repeating to my that my fear of other cancers is not a reason to not have radiation. And I kept repeating to her that I am not fearful which is exactly why I don't feel radiation treatment is right for me. It is a conscious decision that I have thought very long and hard about. The day I received my cancer diagnosis (May 14th), Mike and I met with Amy for almost 2 hours. She described all of the possible treatments for my cancer and one of them was full mastectomy with reconstructive surgery. I asked her at that time if I was crazy thinking this was the treatment option for me. She said no, that is likely what she would do as well if faced with the same diagnosis. I have thought long and hard over the last 2 1/2 months and also met with two different oncologist. I have always leaned toward full breast removal and if I go through radiation the treatment will change the tissue making it more leather like and hard to work with. I would like relatively healthy tissue if I am going to go through a major surgery and process like this. So my final decision is....no radiation.
I told the doctor that I was thinking I would wait to have surgery until a mass or lump was found that needed to be removed. I mentioned that we have our daughter Emily who has many special and medical needs and it was very hard for us to work out Mike staying home in the mornings to lift Emily up for almost 6 weeks time. I said it was a real inconvenience to my husband (my words not his) for the elective breast reduction surgery that lead on on this tailspin journey and unexpected cancer diagnosis. Another major surgery this year would be hard to figure out and I didn't want to inconvenience Mike again. Dr. Amy said I think it would be more of an inconvenience to him if you were dead from cancer. Wow, that was harsh! She said many people die from cancer everyday and I am young to be diagnosed with this. Even though it is not currently a life threatening cancer I still need to treat it as cancer. Cancer can kill and I need to take this more seriously then I have, is what I was told.
So, I have many things to think about in the near future. I am likely to have bilateral mastectomy with reconstructive surgery yet sometime this year. It is so hard to even find a time when this will work for our family, but I'm sure we will. As mom's it is hard to find time to carve out for ourselves and I know that this is a necessity.