Saturday, 27 August 2011

Appointment Finale


This week was a BIG week for me! Tuesday marked my last pre-op appointment with the surgeons, and things are starting to feel like they are falling into place and finally under control.

I have made the decision to go ahead with a preventative mastectomy + alloderm reconstruction to battle my BRCA 1 gene (just one of my many genetic failures), but the road to get here has not been an easy one. In order for me to move forward with this process I have had to meet with 3 surgeons, my cardiologist, my pacemaker team, a genetic specialist, 2 oncologists, a research coordinator, as well as go through screening. It has been EXCESSIVE! I have been averaging at least one appointment  a week, and it has felt like I have been spending a lot of time at Princess Maragret lately.

This final appointment was with the surgeon who will be performing the mastectomy portion of the procedure. Typically the surgery involves two surgeons; one surgeon who performs the mastectmony and a plastic surgeon who does the reconstruction. In my case surgery will have the added SPARKLE of a cardiothoracic surgeon who will remove my pacemaker to begin the festivies and then re-insert it to cap off this OR party.

The last 2 surgeons I met with could easily be described as OR Mavericks. They were up for the challenge and clearly a little giddy about the research my surgery is sure to generate. You could see them working out the introductions to their research papers 5 minutes into out inital meeting. Dr. McCreedy, however, was a little more tentative about the whole affair. As I walked him through the info I had from my MANY other appointments and my sorted medical history he did not appear as enthusiastic as the my other surgeons had. In fact he looked concerned - not a look you want to see as a patient.

He stopped me mid-sentence as we were discussing the placement of my ICD in relation to my breast and said, "Krysten given all the complicating factors here, are you sure you really want to do this NOW?" . This statement definitely gave me pause. I sat there staring at my surgeon, one of the most highly recommended professionals in Canada, and I began to think that perhaps my reasoning was NOT sound. Maybe all the thoughts I had made sense for women without all my added complexities. So I posed this questions to him, "If I wait, if I just do screening, and I end up back here in 10-15 years with a Breast Cancer diagnosis - how much more complicated is this then?" .

"Very" was his response, and with that we were on the same page. I am making this choice now when the choice is mine to make. When things are only mildly complicated, instead of "very". And while this fight only involves surgery, without the added battle with chemo and radiation.

Now we  just wait for a surgery date!

Love your favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten