Tuesday, February 8, 2011

To radiate or to NOT to radiate?

I went to see my oncologist today and BOY oh BOY was it informing! Dr. K went over my pathology report from my double mastectomy. Here are the details:
My breast margins were cleared as negative. Meaning- no cancer cells were found in the surrounding tissue. So not only was my tiny little tumor that chemo shrank removed but all the breast tissue that held NO cancer cells were removed as well. My left breast contained NO cancer also! So chemo kicked some major cancer booty!

My Cancer Case was presented to a board with several doctors in the TX area to discuss radiation.
I have had 8 treatments (4 mo) of hard chemotherapy and a double mastectomy to get rid of this cancer, and they discussed whether or not I needed to have the whole sha-bang and get radiation. I am no radiation wiz at the moment and cannot recall half the reasoning’s behind why Dr. K said the pros and cons but It all boiled down to pretty much me deciding on whether or not I want radiation.

Since all the cancer is gone and the chemotherapy was extremely successful then the Docs think it is all in my hands. There are no cancer cells left at all in my breast. It is my decision. Dr. K said, the chemo pretty much killed the cancer and the surgery scooped it all out as well. So if it is reassurance of knowing I did all I could, then I should get radiation. The good thing about radiation is that it helps prevent reoccurrence.

So I decided on… HECK YES! Why? Because I do not ever want to hear the news “You have breast cancer, again” and think to myself “If I would have had radiation this would not have happened. Basically, I will have peace of mind and know that I did everything possible to be cancer free. The crazy thing is, is that I spent the past week praying to heavenly father to please do not let me have to get radiation. I told him I couldn’t do this anymore. I felt like I was on the edge of a cliff about to be pushed off if I heard anymore bad news. For, it will take me longer to heal, I would have to wait even longer to get my breast back, loose my hair again, and I just did not want to go through all the side effects.
But today, when Dr.K said it is up to me- I shouted YES. It was like I was hit with some sort of confidence beam. I was happy to say yes. I felt like a smarty-pants and that nothing could stop me! I did not even think twice about it. I think it is a great decision and think that I am smart for wanting to go through the whole entire process. It is like going to Disney World. You don’t just ride 4 rides. You ride them all!

So that whole week of me praying and asking for help with not having to hear bad news- I made my own mind up and heavenly father knew that. He knew that I would be brave enough to say heck yea give me some radiation!
So what are the side effects? Here we go…
A problem that occurs when treatment affects healthy tissues or organs.
Some common side effects are fatigue, pain, nausea, vomiting, decreased blood cell counts, hair loss, and mouth sores, and extreme burns on my chest. Booo! BUT it’s okay. If I am going to be happy at the end of the day knowing that reoccurrence is less likely and knowing I did everything possible to get rid of cancer then I am happy ☺
I got this in the bag and if I am going to have cancer, well had cancer… I minus well do the whole shabam! So radiation it is! Dr K told me that he asked each doctor reviewing my case …. (It reminds me of 10 doctors sitting at a round table with a picture of my sweet face up on a screen, me bald, and them talking about me. I know its Vain, but that is how I think of these doctors talking about my case!) Anyway, Dr. K asked each doctor to think of me as his or her daughter. What would they say to their daughter about getting radiation? Would they want her to go through radiation? And they all said YES they would tell their daughter to do radiation.

(Our new sassy beanies)

(Mom and her "Kick a bear"- not happy with the bear and radiation)

(Hug a Bear and my fancy new beanie)

My mom and I also went to a program today that went over the pre and post information on mastectomies. It was myself, my mom, and two other ladies. It was the most informative class and I wish that they would have offered it to me at the beginning of my cancer treatment plan. I was rushed so fast into chemo because my tumor was trying to kill me and growing by the second, I had no time for class. BUT, today they gave me a sweet little “Hug me Doll” which mom refers to as a “Kick me Doll” because she hates anything cancer and radiation was not good news to her. I also received some awesome head beanies made by women who donate them to cancer patients. So, as of this moment, I have my kick me doll chillin’ beside me and beanie on my tiny head and waiting until tomorrow to go back to my plastic surgeon to get my spacers filled to a B cup! Then I go to my radiation doctor on Thursday to discuss how much radiation I need and how long it will take. My guess is everyday for 4 -6 weeks. So... that’s that and my battle with cancer has been won but is now much more longer than I planned it to be! But that is perfectly fine with me. Sooo it looks like my blog shall be a book! Thanks for reading, please keep reading and… Fight Like a Girl!

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear everything in your life is now on the upswing! It's been quite the roller coaster ride reading your blog over the last few months & I can't only imagine that being tenfold when living it. Let me know when you come back to PCB!