In January of 2004 I was contemplating a breast reduction. All my life I have always had large breasts, I had just turned 35 and decided it was time. I interviewed several plastic surgeons, and finally in late February found one I liked, we had agreed to take my triple D size breasts to a C cup. So for several months I saved money and waited to hear from insurance finally in May insurance approved the surgery and I had saved enough for the out of pocket portion.
So the date was set for June 8th. 2004 was the big day. I was so excited to have it done, not only to help with neck and shoulder pain, but also not to be the girl with the big boobs!
Surgery went well, so I thought at the time I ended up staying in the hospital an extra day because of pain. When I went home I went with drain tubes one in each breast, this in hated I couldn’t wait to have them removed. On June 14 I was scheduled to go back to the doctor and have my drains removed………..(I couldn’t wait).
The day arrived, my cousin was set to take me, but for some reason she couldn’t make it, so her mom (my aunt) who’s a nurse said she could take me (witch was a blessing in disguise).
So we arrived went to the exam room, the Dr’s assistant removed the drains and was putting on new bandages when the Dr. Came in and said, ” when she is done I need to talk to you about your pathology report” and me being drugged and feeling great because my tubes were out didn’t give the statement a second thought, my aunt on the other hand turned white as a ghost. So when I was dressed and ready to go the Dr. Came in and said ” you have breast cancer, you need to see a surgeon right away” I don’t remember much after that, everything happened in slow motion. I told my parents and my children the same day.
I found a surgeon, got the surgery scheduled for July we had a vacation planned for my daughters 16 birthday in July and he said it would be fine to wait. Vacation in California was difficult for me, still healing from my reduction surgery and not knowing if my cancer had spread, but my family never knew. I cried a lot during showers and alone time in the hotel room. I had my first of many anxiety attacks during that trip.
So after a family vacation, (not knowing whether or not it might be my last) the meeting with the surgeon brought up another issue. With most lumpectomy the surgeon knows where the tumor is and what surrounding tissue to remove. My case was more difficult, my tumor was already gone, removed during reduction. So the my surgeon, my plastic surgeon a radiologist and many other experts had a meeting on the best was to go about this. After they had a plan I was scheduled for surgery.
Surgery day…….talk about nerves, I had to go to radiology to have a dye injected into me that would help determine where my tumor was, and then it was off to the OR. I remember when I was waiting to go to sleep that I was terrified to wake up and find out if my cancer had spread.
I remember waking up in recovery, my Dr. Was standing over my bed and he said, hold on your mom wants to be here……….my mom came in and told me my cancer had not infected any lymph nodes and had not spread!!!!!!!!Yes. I fell right back to sleep and had the most restful sleep I had had in months.
After healing from all the surgeries my treatment had begun 7 weeks of radiation, no chemo. And that was followed up by 5 years of tamoxifen.
My ten year anniversary was June 14th. 2014.