Thursday 5th December
I am due for my post surgical review with my breast surgeon today. The warm caring man pre surgery seems to be MIA today and I am faced with a very curt business like man, who doesn’t seem to give a crap.
He looks at drain says “it’s ok but you need antibiotics”. He says “You are healing well and your pathology was inconclusive, there was some lymph node involvement but we have decided to take a conservative approach” – This does not sit well with me, so the cancer travelled? How long do I wait? All of these fear driven thoughts are invading my mind with such speed I can’t stop them. He says “best case scenario, treatment will just be tablet, and they need to shut down my ovaries”. Oh cool, that sounds hunky dory. Awesome, what was I afraid of……
The completely frustrating thing is I know that this means. This means Tamoxifen and my Mum was on this, each time she stopped taking it, on doctors orders her cancer would come back stronger than ever…. This drug frightens the crap out of me. I hated this drug for years. Each time my Mum’s cancer came back with a vengeance. I also know that this means ”hello menopause” and this is scary for me too, I am 41, I’m not ready for this. But from his mouth, “just take a pill you’ll be fine.” He does not even mention the menopause word, I think this is so wrong.
As a woman how am I meant to prepare and decide what is best for me when I am not being told all of the information? The consequences of each treatment regime should be fully explained, and if not by him then he should be saying that this person will fully explain this for me. But nope, “just pop a pill darl you’ll be right!”
I ask some questions about my scars, he says “what are you worried about, this will all be ripped apart and redone when you have the reconstruction,” and then he adds “are you still persisting with the other breast removal?” I try to remain calm but I want to rip his head off.
Persisting! You tell me the cancer has travelled, you tell me you have decided to take a conservative approach, then you have the hide to ask me if I am going to take up your precious time with the removal of my other breast! Only after both my Mum and sister had cancer come back in the other breast???? I need to take some slow deep breathes so I don’t lose it.
I explain to him that I will be persisting with a double mastectomy as soon as I have been given the clearance to do so. I pray to myself that I will hopefully feel more heard by the oncologist in a few days.
I leave feeling frustrated, worried and angry. Why do these doctors minimize this experience, he is effectively removing cutting or chemically killing all of the things that make me a woman and I should be happy?????
As I leave I ask to pay for today as every appointment costs, she says “oh this consult was free, but here is the gap”, she gives me an invoice for $2000 and says “can you pay now?” Sorry lovely I have not worked for a month or more and there is no money like this lying around in my account. I ask to make a direct deposit when I get home, she is not happy but agrees.
I am to see the oncologist on Monday the 9th, it is a woman, this gives me some relief, perhaps I will feel a little more understood. I get home and am so angry I don’t know what to do with myself, I can’t express it in words, I want to run but I am far too sore. Aha, chocolate!