A word of advice to anyone starting the breast cancer journey – DO NOT look up lumpectomy or mastectomy on the internet. I mean, if you want to cause yourself a heart attack, stroke, panic attacks, shrieking fits of fear or complete and total nausea, then by all means look it up.
That was my mistake. While I was waiting for the results of the genetic testing, I thought I would be smart and look up lumpectomy or mastectomy. Well, you should know by now what kind of pictures would be posted. The most horrific cases are posted, dontcha know?
After being traumatized by the pictures, I managed to convince myself that those pictures were just ridiculous. I was joking with friends about seriously considering a mastectomy because then I could get smaller, perkier boobs. A real bonus for my new husband, right?
Someone must have heard my shrieks of disgust because my nurse navigator called me soon after that. She told me that the pictures posted are the worst cases and were from years ago. Meagan told me that my surgeon was very good at not leaving my breast deformed should I go with the lumpectomy. I would just be left with an incision scar. No misshapen breast. No lopsided anything. No one, except my husband, would see anything different.
Meagan went on to explain that with a mastectomy, a pad would be inserted under the skin after the breasts are removed. The skin would stretch to accommodate the pad and I could choose the size. This procedure would take a few months to complete. I was assured that my surgeon would fully explain either procedure when I made my decision. Meagan also told me that neither procedure was painful, merely uncomfortable.
Panic attack soothed and shrieking fits stopped. Waiting. I am not a very patient person. Perhaps God was, yet again, giving me a life lesson on patience.