Difficult Decisions

Yesterday, I received a telephone call from Karen, Dr. Croom’s nurse.  She told me that Dr. Croom reviewed my patient files [mammogram/ultrasound/biopsy/MRI] and concluded that my “best bet” would be a mastectomy.  The reason for this is the position of the tumor, near the center of the breast and toward the chest wall/bone.  The surgeon must obtain a “clean margin” after removing the tumor and must have enough room to do this.  [“Clean margins” are tissues that are free of cancer cells.]  Karen will make an appointment for me to consult with the radiation oncologist, in preparation for the possibility of radiology after surgery.  We have not yet discussed chemotherapy but, remember, this depends on the condition of the lymph nodes, which the pathologist will examine during surgery.

On Monday, I have an appointment with Judy Welch, RN, a Breast Cancer Treatment Counselor, and an appointment with Dr. Patricia Hogan, my Family Practitioner.  I have many questions re: surgery and post-op.

Now, the question that remains is:  Is there a health benefit to a double mastectomy?  My reading tells me that any woman in my situation would like to avoid a future recurrence of cancer [and future surgery, radiation, possible chemo, etc.] and would consider a double in order to put this whole nightmare behind her.  So, as radical as this may sound, I must consider this.

Next, there is the issue of reconstructive surgery, which I do not plan at this time, but it will be wise not to close the door on that forever.  So, I will consult with a plastic surgeon, who will guide the surgery, so that the option will remain open for me.  In the meantime, I will consult with someone re: prostheses.

This is rather a longer blog than usual and will suffice for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  I will write again on Monday night.  Thanks again for all your communication, care, and concern for me — and for your prayers.

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4 Comments

Filed under Breast Cancer

4 responses to “Difficult Decisions

  1. Fr. John Wallace

    Dear Margo & Steve,

    Ashley and I love you guys and will be praying for you. Many of the comments on these pages recall how much you have blessed so many others over the years. It’s true!

    Ashley and I have appreciated both of you ever since those first days when Fr. Brad would have us down for a visit to St. John’s and Ruge Hall. We so enjoyed spending time with you. Ashley was particularly blessed by her visits with you, Margo. You were always so good at being interested in and concerned for the people you were with. Thanks for being you!

    You are indeed a blessing to all of us. We love you and we’re praying for you.

    John+

  2. Robin Stuyverson

    Dearest Margo,
    I am going to ballet soon…the ladies and I will pray for you regarding direction and peace of mind. We will also pray for Steve and family. You are so dear to us…

    I love you, my friend.

  3. Tracie Barnard

    Dear One:

    Please know that you continue to be in our thoughts and prayers. Scripture offers so much comfort and encouragement–let me share one of my favorite verses with you–“Whether I go to the right or to the left, there will always be a voice behind me saying, ‘ this is My way, walk in it.'” {Isaiah 30:21} I know that He will give you and Steve clear direction about how to proceed, what questions to ask, and what paths to follow.

    We love you,
    Tracie (for all of the Barnards!)

  4. Jane Chichetti

    Margo-
    I am so glad that you let us know what is going on.
    We are all here for you!
    Be assured that you are not going to go through this alone. Many, many prayers are being said for you.
    You have always helped everyone else. It is time to let us help you.
    Know that God is with you and St. Peter’s, too!
    God bless you,
    Jane

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