April 2, 2015 we returned to my surgeon’s office for the results of my breast MRI. I was devastated to learn that there was a questionable area under my left nipple, as well as another questionable area on my right breast that the radiologist recommended having checked again in 6 months. I broke down and cried. Thankfully, Juan was there to hold me. I was hoping that I would not have to face this. Deep down, I know this was a possibility.
I truly believe God arranged it this way because I could only handle the thought of a lumpectomy and radiation. That became bearable in my mind. Reality was quickly setting in. Now I was scared. We had a descion to make. Actually, we had the answer. The answer was made for us–we just had to voice it. I knew that I couldn’t face future problems. We decided that I would have a double mastectomy with DIEP flap reconstruction. Dr. Hill was patient and helped talk it through as we evaluated our options. He agreed with our decision.
Because of where the second area was on my left breast, Dr. Hill said that he would not be able to save the nipple. That meant another decision. I could save the right nipple and reconstruct the left. I wanted it to look the same. It would be hard to match. So, we decided that there would be no nipple saving surgery.
Now the right breast would have to be biopsied. If it is positive for cancer, the nodes would be tested. The nurse said that there have been cases where they cannot find it through sonogram, so there is no biopsy.
My head was spinning. I had a very hard time putting words together, much less any questions. I wasn’t prepared. I didn’t read about mastectomy in my information packet. I didn’t have a list of questions. Juan asked the tough questions as he held me. Both the doctor and nurse placed their hands on me. The nurse held me a couple of times. Human touch is so healing and comforting.
My surgery was scheduled for April 15th. My biopsy was scheduled for the following week. The nurse cancelled my appointment with the chemotherapy doctor–only because it was too soon for that visit. Juan guided me out to the elevator and held me as I cried. He assured me that we would get through this together and that he would be there for me. I couldn’t imagine this journey without him. The part of our wedding vows “in sickness and in health” would now be tested.
Thank you for following my story. Please feel free to comment or email me with questions.