... More Surgery
The back story is that back on May 11th I posted about some new tests brought on by my oncology check up and exam, which prompted a new mammogram, ultrasound, and then biopsy. All was well and good thankfully. The lump was found to be a fatty necrosis which can occur at the sight of surgery, or after an injury. Why it took 4.5 years for this to form, was unknown to all of us.
During this appointment with Dr. Shaw on Friday, it was apparent that I had an infection, perhaps mastitis, which basically is any kind of infection in the breast. She put me on an antibiotic and scheduled me to see the surgeon right after the weekend, on Monday.
When I saw Dr. Charles Elboim on Monday December 21st, we discussed many options. He reported that the size of the lump had increased from 3 cm to 4 cm in one month. He told me that the blood supply to this area of my breast was likely reduced considerably due to surgery and because of this my breast could not maintain healthy tissue. Why it had taken 4.5 years from surgery, he could not say. He repeated that all things pointed to this lump being benign, but that only surgery and biopsy of the removed tissue could tell 100% that this was not cancer. He seemed concerned that the area was still somewhat inflamed, but much improved from just a few days earlier. He did encourage me to get a refill on the 10-day antibiotic in case it did not subside completely and we were in the midst of a holiday or weekend. Oh was he ever on target here. He went on further to say how it might start to drain on it's own as this sometimes happened. We also talked about surgery options; further breast reduction, or full mastectomy; and his concern for surgery with my serious heart condition and how he would be sure not to put me at further risk in this area.
I left Dr. Elboim's office with the paper script for a refill if need be and proceeded about our holiday preparations and such. It was Monday, December 21st, I would spend 2 days watching my adorable grand kids in Davis to help out while there sitter was away for the holidays; then return home to prepare for a special Christmas Eve dinner for our daughters, their husbands, and our three most adorable members of the family -- the three most adorable grankids in the world (no bias here). :-)
All went well, and I continued the script of the antibiotics. We had the most wonderful holiday with the most precious people in my life; and they even all stayed over and awoke with us Christmas morning to the wonderment of two 4 year old boys, and one precious 1.5 year old little angel. But later Christmas Day I noticed that the breast was completely red and hot and inflamed again; even with the antibiotics. Dr. Elboim was spot on in suspecting this would happen, and I refilled the script after the 10 day supply.
So here I am, on January 8th after being on this antibiotic for 22 days; and while the infection is better, the breast is still inflamed. After seeing Dr. Shaw on the 5th, as Dr. Elboim was away, she told me how she and Dr. Elboim discussed everything and they both feel mastectomy may be unavoidable. While he could possibly save some of the breast, the size of this fatty necrosis has grown to a point that there is not much breast left. So I am continuing on the antibiotic for the time being, until Dr Elboim returns. This antibiotic is the best available for treating beast infections. But I cannot stay on antibiotics forever. Dr. Elbows will do my surgery with the a sedative, rather than full anesthesia, so as to prevent any risk to my heart.
And as I do a bit of online research about fat necrosis of the breast, I am learning it is somewhat common in breast cancer patients, after either radiation, biopsy, or surgery. While it can often be treated with massage and/or hot compresses, it appears mine is much too large, and with all the inflamation, I may need to resort to mastectomy. But I will do more research with this time.
I know it sounds very selfish, but one of the things I am saddened about is that now that I'm finally at a weight where I feel comfortable dressing in things that are a little more form fitting, I will need to wear a prosthetic to hide the deformity. And this really pisses me off. And NO, I have no interest in reconstruction. I know that I need to be grateful for my health. Especially when I see others who are not doing so well. I guess it is a process of grieving that I will get through in time.
I am so over this breast. Maybe I will just screw it all and go commando. The discomfort of this huge hard rock in my chest, and all the issues it is causing, are not worth the pride of having two boobs.
That is it, my friends, in all the gory details. I am blessed to have my family and loved ones. I am blessed to not be dealing with serious cancer issues as my brother-in-law, cousin and other dear friends are. I am blessed to still be here on this earth and to be enjoying my sweet grand kids and family. So I will embrace this new change as it occurs, and put one step in front of the other, go one day after the other, and live life to the fullest.
AND now the Cardiomyopathy warrior!!!
• I AM STRONG • I AM HEALTHY • I AM LOVED •