Well done Livvy. It's important you are happy with the decision. Frankly I think getting it out ASAP really helps you mentally. I calmed down completely as soon as mine had gone. Also there may be no need to proceed to mastectomy, as Bond girl says. Why lose your boob unless it's totally necessary? Good luck with it all. Hope you don't have yo wait too long for surgery. xx
Livvy, hope this helps.
I was diagnosed April 14 with stage 2 invasive ductal. My options were the same as you except no tablet option offered. My oncologist was recommending mastectomy but my surgeon suggested a phased approach. Being
do lumpectomy and sentinel node removal to check if in nodes. Then have chemo after chemo I had the axial art node clearance and check for clear margins of original lumpectomy. He said if they come back clear then no need for mastectomy IF they come back not clear and more nodes involved than just the original one then he would suggest a mastectomy.
i know this sounds like two surgeries but as he said mastectomy is a one way street and the emotional and mental torment that goes with it.
for me it worked out ok, my second op showed clear margins and no more nodes imvovled. Mine was on the outer upper quadrant so my scar goes from inch from the nipple right into my arm pit. I am 2 years on and my scar is almost invisible, lucky,
oops forgot got to say when they did the original lumpectomy they found invasive lobular and another invasive ductal so I was worried I should have gone for mastectomy, but I trusted the surgeon and it worked out.
it's such a difficult decision, I went round and round, always agreeing with the last person I'd spoken to, or last post/ article I'd read.
I had to ask myself why I was choosing or excluding each option, really search myself, and eventually the choice became more evident. So, talk it through and through and through, with your BCN, the helpliners, your GP can be a good sounding board, and you will come to the right decision for you. Look at protheses, look at the flat friends site, look at pictures of diifferent recons, talk to plastic surgeons and good luck this is not easy.
I think it's normal to dither because there are various pros & cons, as you may well know already. Mastectomy usually doesn't need radiotherapy, whereas lumpectomy usually does. Recurrence rates are more favourable for mastectomy due to less breast tissue (but survival rates are the same). Then there's the emotional side of how you feel about both & mastectomy being a bigger op, especially if you have simultaneous reconstruction. One thing about lumpectomies that they don't always tell you, is that sometimes they find something else in the pathology, that wasn't visible on mammo/ultrasound, requiring a second op. In my case it was DCIS in the margins, for others it can be another tumour. It's heart breaking to be told you need a 2nd or, in some cases, 3rd op. Only you can know which of those things appeals to you least (appreciate it's not a great list to choose from). If it's any consolation, you are in the worst part mentally, before it all starts. You will get through it all. It's a long road. xx
Hi Livvy really sorry to hear you have double trouble. It's a very hard decision, but it may be that they can give you a clearer indication of which of the options they recommend (or would recommend to their wife or daughter). I wonder if you are borderline for lumpectomy & if they shrink it you won't need a mastectomy. When I had just been diagnosed I just wanted it out of me, but I was terrified about needing a mastectomy. Later I wished I'd had a mastectomy, but now I am out the other side of chemo, I'm really pleased I have (a somewhat battered) boob left. Just telling you to illustrate how hard the decision is & how we can change our minds about it, therefore don't make a decision until you are sure it's the right one for you. The helpline nurses are pretty good in running you through the pros & cons. They were better than my official team actually. All the best. xx