A year ago, things were uncertain. So much information was thrown at me all at once and I was expected to make decisions very quickly. At the time, I didn’t know if I was making the right decisions. Especially when making the decision between lumpectomy and mastectomy. I took the more extreme, evasive route with the bilateral mastectomy but I couldn’t risk being told I had cancer again. Or telling my boys again. When my pathology report came back of my breast tissue and lymph nodes, the cancer had spread to two other spots in my left breast and two out of three of the lymph nodes removed. In the end, the mastectomy was the better choice. The cancer spreading brought on chemo and radiation. Eight rounds of chemo and 28 rounds of radiation brought on the worst fatigue, hair loss, horrible bone pain, mild neuropathy, loss of appetite and irritated reddened skin. Those hard months also showed me grace. I never went to a chemo treatment alone. When I returned home from chemo, there were special gifts waiting for me from my awesome neighbors. Friends and neighbors bringing my family meals. Two special women who took the time to clean my house every couple weeks while I was down. Countless cards and gifts arrived in the mail. My family and I were shown so much love and I cannot say thank you enough. I am one blessed girl!
In just a few short months, I will finally endure my final surgery. My reconstruction surgery is set for December 30th. I know, happy new year to me! I wanted to finish everything before the end of the year and start 2016 fresh. My reconstruction surgery will consist of my plastic surgeon removing the tissue expanders and replacing them with silicone implants. I am so excited to have these hard, uncomfortable expanders out! At the time of the exchange, my surgeon will also remove my portacath. This is great news as it means no more chemo in my future!
I am meeting with my ob/gyn tomorrow to discuss the removal of my ovaries. When I went to my follow up appointment with my oncologist, he wanted me to think about having my ovaries removed because my cancer was ER+/PR+. This means the estrogen produced by my ovaries likely contributed to my cancer. By removing the ovaries, my body would no longer produce estrogen. The downfall to this, I would go into permanent menopause at the age of 36. I will discuss everything with my doctor but my gut is telling me to have them removed. I very much dislike taking Tomixifen. I do not like the way it makes me feel. I feel on edge most of the time. I feel like a different person. A person even I wouldn’t want to be around. I feel sluggish and just have an overall blah feeling. By removing my ovaries, I could stop taking Tomixifen. It doesn’t mean I’d be done taking a pill though…I can only wish. I would have to take an aromatase inhibitor so my body stops producing estrogen. Even though removing the ovaries stops the production of estrogen, my body is forced into menopause. My body will still produce some estrogen and these inhibitors will block an enzyme that converts other hormones into estrogen. It will prevent cancer cells from getting the hormones they need to grow. I will likely be on Tomixifen for at least a year, then switch to an aromatase inhibitor, including Arimidex, Aromasin or Femara. I would continue to take this medication for at least five years. I’m hoping to educate myself tomorrow and again make a decision whether to remove yet another part of my body because of this disease. I’ll do what I have to though. I will not stop fighting.
Stay strong. Stay positive. ❤️