I am at the point now where no matter what you say, it will not help the way I feel. I don’t want to be told “Everything is going to be ok”. There are too many unkowns: has the cancer spread to my lymph nodes or further and do I carry one of the more than 20 genes that increase my chances for developing breast cancer.
Since my older sister developed breast cancer in her 40s my chances of carrying one of those genes increases. It isn’t just BRCA1 or BRCA2. It is a list of genes that include CDH1, EPCAM, MLH1, MSH2, PMS2, PTEN, STK11, TP53 and those are just the high risk genes. There are three moderate risk genes and 7 unknown risk genes. With the 7 unknown risk genes, they don’t know what to do if you have them but breast and/or ovarian cancer are commonly associated cancers.
Tomorrow morning at 11am I will have a half hour chat with the pre-op nurse. I really don’t feel like talking to anyone about it. All I want to do is to pet the cats.
Today I don’t feel so well. I have a stomach bug I think. I am not sure if I caught it from the brunch I ate at a restaurant yesterday or if it is nerves.
My lumpectomy for what is right now considered stage 1 breast cancer is scheduled for April 20, 2015
There are several other appointments that have to happen before then:
This coming Wednesday I have an appointment with the geneticist as one of my sister’s had breast cancer. I will give either a blood or saliva sample to test me for any of the known genes which almost guarantee me that I will develop breast cancer. It includes the well known BRCA gene mutation and a few others.
Another appointment is to get a radioactive seed placed in the tumor the Friday before the lumpectomy. This is supposed to help the surgeon find the lesion. The paper work says I won’t need a bandage afterwards and neither I nor my clothes will be radioactive. However, I shouldn’t hold a baby for more than 30 minutes a day until the seed is removed.
The pre-op physical with ekg will happen on the 16th with my primary care physician. That includes blood work. Karen, the scheduler, (not sure of her real title, will get back to you about that next week) gave me a form my primary care doctor is suppose to fill out which included a rectal exam. I am not excited about that and not really sure why they must look there prior to a lumpectomy. Probably just a case of CTA (covering their asses). Whatever!!
I was supposed to have scheduled a 30 minute phone interview with a nurse within 24 hours of meeting with my surgeon. Well that didn’t happen. 72 hours will have to do as it is the weekend. I guess if it was that critical they would have called me. The form the surgeon’s office gave me said the appointment is for me to “Find out how to prepare for surgery.” My friend, Carol, who has had a couple of surgeries says that it is to clear me for anesthesia. They want to make sure I haven’t had a reaction to it in past surgeries, which I haven’t). They also check my medications probably to make sure I am not on any blood thinners. I have been asked that several times already. I am to stop taking Advil/ibuprophen and multivitamins including vitamin E several days prior to the lumpectomy. That is the same instruction from my pain doctor prior to an epidural.
Another thing I am supposed to do before surgery is go to the pharmacy to pick up a bottle of Hibiclens. I am to bathe with it both the day before and the day of the lumpectomy.