Saturday, June 24, 2006

Oncology appointments

I saw two oncologists this week: a radiation oncologist on Wednesday and a medical oncologist on Friday.

The radiation oncologist said that I would have a mastectomy and that I would have chemo if the bone scan wasn't clear. The medical oncologist went a lot further than that :(

The treatment plan, assuming that the cancer is in fact a recurrence, is to first do a bone scan and an abdominal ultrasound (to check my liver). If both come back clear, then we'll do a mastectomy and remove my ovaries. If the bone scan shows cancer, then we'll remove my ovaries. If the liver shows signs of cancer, then we'll do chemo. If the cancer isn't a recurrence, then we'll do chemo. There are other possibilities as well, but these are the main ones.

It's hard enough to think about losing one or both breasts, but to have the ovaries taken out as well is very, very hard to deal with. I mean, I'm not going to have children anyways, but I was hoping to go through life with my body parts mostly intact.

It really sucks to think that in the best case recurrence scenario (which is the most likely), I'll lose my breast and ovaries. There's something inherently unfair about that.


Anonymous said...

I understand your pain, as much as I'm capable. I know you weren't planning to have kids, or that it wasn't safe, but to have the choice wrest from you, bodily, is another matter. They just keep cutting pieces out? How many are they going to cut out before you feel your perception of your own womanhood is sacrificed? I wish I had another way.

Chantelle said...


Thanks... it is very hard to get used to, and to be honest, I'm struggling with it. My first reaction was that "they're taking away all the parts that make me a woman". Ian pointed out that what makes me a woman is the fact that no cell in my body has a Y-chromosome :) There is a surprising amount of comfort in this view..

Intellectually, I understand the need to do these surgeries, but emotionally, I havne't quite got to the point of acceptance. I'm very grateful to have Ian, though - I don't know what I would do without him.