Or so I expect.
Today is the day. In an hour or so, I have to drive (eternally!) to the east side of Scottsdale (again!) for another chat with WonderSurgeon. She’ll have the results of the scary MRI exams of both boobs.
Every time I’m subjected to some new procedure by these doctors, the results are always negative and sometimes hair-raising.
WonderSurgeon told me that she wanted an MRI made of my non-guilty boob, since we propose to kill off both breasts by way of a) making me not have to spend the rest of my life lopsided and b) virtually eliminating any chance of any new growths. She said she wanted to see if anything was in there, so, said she, she could work her way around them.
Well, when I got there it turned out she’d ordered MRI’s of both boobs.
Frankly, that sounds a lot like a fishing expedition to me: let’s find something new to biopsy, to operate on, and to create another three to five opportunities for more surgery. And, to my distress, I found some confirmation of that: a 2013 study shows that “DCIS patients who undergo preoperative breast MRI are far more likely to undergo additional biopsies.” The group of researchers, publishing in the Annals of Surgical Oncology, suggest that the benefit of routine MRI before breast surgery is dubious and may lead to yet more unnecessary procedures…of which, IMHO, I’ve had a-plenty.
So I’m bracing myself, and trying to think clearly about what I’m going to say when confronted with what I’m certain will be more bad news. Sure as I’m sitting here, she’s going to tell me they found some new mass in the other breast and they want to biopsy it. Or that they found something in the guilty breast and want to biopsy that. When I say no, just cut it off, she will say, “But we have to know if there’s invasive cancer because if there is we’ll have to take out lymph nodes.”
Then I’ll have to decide whether to take my chances on whether it is or is not cancer, on whether it’s a DCIS that may or may not morph into cancer, and whether I want to proceed with more torture or just walk away.
A breast biopsy is painful: much more so than a lumpectomy. I really do NOT want to go through another of those, and I’m inclined to say if that’s what she wants, I’m done. On the other hand, I don’t want to just throw away my life.
But on the other other hand, there’s not that many years of life left to me at this point, and breast cancer grows pretty slowly. By the time it takes me away, I will have lived out my allotted years — assuming a heart attack, stroke, or car wreck doesn’t carry me away first.
Dayum, but I hate this!