Monday, May 17, 2010

Decisions, Decisions...

A couple of weeks ago I headed to UCSF with my support entourage in tow; my goofy sister, mom, dad, and my favorite little man in the world!!! (who's getting pushed by Papou). Doesn't Dad look good pushing a stroller?!  :)

Anyways....I decided to go because I felt like I needed a second opinion and second opinions are great. Ever since I found out I had breast cancer, I had been really confused on what I wanted to do. Mastectomy or lumpectomy, that is the question...Well, my first thought was, “Hell, just cut if off completely! I can always get implants! Why do I really need them?” But I had to think this out clearly and make the right choice for me. So off to the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center it was…

After speaking the doctor at UCSF, he was very helpful in providing me all the answers to my many questions regarding surgery options, treatments, genetic testing and how this will affect my future.

He mentioned that he felt my cancer was at an early stage but that they won’t know for sure until the tumor is removed and tested. Once it’s removed, they will do what they call an Oncotype test. This test is done on the tumor and it will give me my percentage of the cancer reoccurring in the next 8 to 10 years. Apparently because I am so young, I have a higher percentage rate of it coming back.

It was also mentioned that the cancer/tumor does need to come out regardless and having a lumpectomy is my best option for now. We talked about genetic testing and told me that it would be important for me to get this done because it would give me an idea of my potential risk with not only breast cancer but for also ovarian cancer.   So, while I was at UCSF, I got my blood drawn for the genetic test: BRAC 1 & 2. This test is also an indicator if I am a carrier of the genetic markers.

With all of this in mind and a long discussion about my options with my family, I decided the best thing to do right now is the lumpectomy. It is with this that based on the size of the tumor, the number of lymph nodes affected (if any), along with my age and the tumor marker results it will help decide if I should have chemotherapy, in addition to hormone therapy.

Now you’re probably saying to yourself…”Whew…This is a lot to take in!” and let me tell you it is! Honestly, it sucks!! But having my entourage with me that day meant a lot. It makes things like this a little less stressful and I wouldn’t want to do this all by myself.

For now…I wait for my test results to come back and I’m off to schedule my lumpectomy.

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