Thursday, December 31, 2009
The decisions of my life!
Today I went to see the Radiologis/Oncologis and it was a consultation for radiation therapy. This was a difficult day for me I had this beautiful young doctor sitting across a desk from me and asking me to call him by his first name Boris with all my paperwork sitting in front of him. He was about as nice as they come but still I had to listen to him give me the truth no sugar coating just the truth which is very scary when your truth is cancer. We went over everything in fine detail such as the fact that I fall into the category of the grey zone which means that I could opt for either getting radiation or not getting radiation and both sides are equally acceptable. This only makes my decision harder as it turns out because I will decide my fate possibly and that is a heavy burden not just for me but for my children and the people who love me. The truth is they don't have enough studies completed with people who are in this grey zone like me so his job was to give me the most information as possibe and this information is not easy to listen to frankly. The fact that I am young and that the grade of my cancer is moderate to high (meaning the aggressiveness) goes for radiation therapy but the fact that my tumors were completely removed during my mastectomy and the margins were clean (meaning the doctor got it all out during surgery)goes against radiation since it does have risks of it own. The amount of information given to me today was like the first day of physics class just almost not processable. I am giving you all the condensed version but this decision is really difficult.Do you know what else is difficult is that the doctor was 41 and looked like a kid to me now that is scary people he is basically my age.I remember in elementary school when the teacher said one day you are the people who will be running the world one day and now I think back at how right this teacher was because this kid sitting next to me in class might as well be the man who is caring for me now. Its weird the things you think about when your life gets put in front of you on some papers with numbers and percentages on them. I listened to him tell me that I had about a 15%-20% chance all information on the table of the tumors coming back near the site of where my breasts once were. Now this does not mean spreading cancer or metastasis it means the original cancer coming back either on the chest wall or surrounding area around my breast. If the cancer were to return it makes my chances of survival one out of four or 25% fatal. If I do the radiation therapy than the chance of the cancer coming back to the breast area goes down to about 5%-8% so it significantly reduces the chance of the cancer returning to the original site which in turn gives me a better chance of survival. The drawbacks to radiation are increased risk of lyphadema which is swelling in the arm that never goes away as well as increased risk of other types of cancer developing due to exposure to radiation and also the breast itself might not look as good because of the healing process being severely reduced to the tissue being exposed. After about an hour of discussing in detail those and many more statistics and looking at my cancer individually I came to the decision to go with being safe rather than sorry because once I make this choice its done and I never want to say I wish I did this or that I want to use every tool in the arsenal to kill this cancer and never to question my choices as being the reason I may die. Just like my choice to have a double mastectomy as a precaution instead of a lumpectomy or just removing one breast I am making this decision with no regrets. I believe in God and I know he will take care of me either way but I also believe in medicine and I will use whatever I can to win this war. I am totally comfortable with my choices so far I have the best doctors in the world at the best cancer hospital in the world and I have more friends and family praying for me than I ever knew I had so lets keep fighting together and praying together and no regrets just going forward to victory!
Posted by Nicole Rowe at 12:17 AM