I was going to wait to post anything here, but for the sake of my memory, I’m going to post what I know now.
Life has been plugging along, usually with one health issue or another, but nothing that involves that ugly “c” word. Since this blog has mainly focused on my cancer journey, that’s what I will report on, at least in this posting.
I have made the decision to have my breast implants removed. I have several personal reasons for coming to this decision. Basically, I have done a lot of research on what is being termed Breast Implant Illness (BII). While not yet recognized as a “real” illness, tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of women have experienced this anomaly and have felt amazingly better after explanting. When I started looking at the information and long list of symptoms, I realized I may be one of those women! Just as a side note, mine are not the recalled implants, so it doesn’t have anything to do with that. I just feel like the chronic problems I have had and thought were due to chemo, or the cancer itself, may indeed be due to my body constantly trying to fight this foreign object in my body. I really won’t know if that is true or not until the implants are removed. There are no tests to check that while the implants are still there. With this being an elective procedure, it is not covered by insurance. So I am taking the risk, paying big bucks to a very qualified plastic surgeon, that this is going to help. My hope is that I will have more energy, not be so drained, and my inflammation markers will go down and hopefully return to normal. I have had unexplained inflammation for about six years, about one year after the implants were placed. It will be nice to know I won’t have any more foreign parts in my body.
Now let me be clear about one thing: I make absolutely no judgements on anyone that has implants, especially after mastectomy. My belief is that every individual in the situation I was in, needs to do what is best for them. I still believe I did what was best for me at the time, seven years ago. I never dreamed I would even consider removing g my implants! I just feel that right now at this time, I am doing what is right for me.
OK- so now that you all know that part...
my surgery is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. Ya- like next Monday! It has actually been planned for well over a month.
I went to see my oncologist, Dr. Reddy, 12/10/19 and let him know about my explant plan. It was time for my yearly breast MRI, so he thought I should have that done before the explant surgery. The MRI was scheduled for 1/2/2020. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate MRIs?!? I absolutely hate them! It took all I had, even with a little Xanax onboard, to get through that test.
Two days later, on a Saturday, I got an email with the MRI results. The results said there was an abnormal lymph node in the right axillary area. It said I needed to follow up and talk to my oncologist and have further testing, as that was the only way to rule out a recurrence of cancer.
Great- so there I was, on a weekend, unable to talk to my doctor until Monday, wondering if I have stupid cancer again. Well, Monday came along and I spoke to my oncologist’s nurse. My dr was on hospital call that week and unavailable to talk to. Ugh! She called me the next day after finally talking to the oncologist and she set up an ultrasound as the next step in further testing. So more waiting...
I had the U/S yesterday, 1/14/20. The radiologist talked to me afterwards and wanted me to come back for an Ultrasound guided needle biopsy. I went back today and they did the biopsy. So now I wait again, but this time I will have a more definitive answer as to whether or not I have a cancer recurrence, or just an abnormal lymph node. Definitely hoping and praying for the latter!
On my way home from the biopsy today, Dr. Reddy (my oncologist) called me. He kind of laid out what would happen IF the biopsy showed cancer cells. IF that was to happen, I would have to cancel my explant surgery and have more testing in the form of a PET scan. If the recurrence was localized, he would recommend surgery to remove that lymph node and any surrounding nodes. He said then we would discuss where to go from there. He also made mention that this is still 50-50 chance and to try not to worry until results are in. Ya sure... I know he means well, but geez...
There is still a part of me remaining positive and unwilling to believe this could be a recurrence. There’s also a part of me that is extremely angry that I even have to go through this again... the worry and waiting and not knowing. The biggest part of me right now is just scared and anxious and upset that I’m walking this path again. My hope is that in the next couple of days this path will come to a screeching halt, and all will be well...
I will be back in a couple days, hopefully with the outcome that will put a smile on all our faces!!
Oh ya, one more thing! I haven’t mentioned, in this post anyways, how wonderful my husband is, and how blessed I am to have all the love and support around me. If nothing else comes from going through all of this, I am once again reminded of the blessings in my life. I hate that it’s these kind of circumstances that gives us those reminders, but here is yet another validation of why things happen... even shitty things!
Love and Blessings to anyone who might still be reading this blog! 😘💗