Yesterday I found out my Invasive Lobular Carcinoma is a mere stage one–yay me! It’s a “well-mannered” cancer, according to my oncologist (who is thankfully not quite young enough to be my grandson, but almost). I almost feel guilty about having such a polite and unassuming cancer–it’s slow-growing by nature, and my numbers are somewhere between pretty darn good and fabulous. There are lots of numbers and you want some of them high and some of them low and I’m still wrapping my head around it. I am grateful and lucky. I know that on the Richter scale that measures the devastation that cancer can wrought, I’m looking at a mere tremor.
I met with my oncological surgeon today. This is where we start talking about next steps. I thought (or hoped), however, that the next step would be scheduling surgery. I’d already scheduled my after-surgery follow-up with my oncologist. But, no. You have to do the things before you can do the things that have to be done before the thing gets done. Before I can do anything I have other things to do. So it’s do, do, do, and then I can do. It’s doo-doo.
I don’t really mean that, of course. I like it when people put some extra thought into yanking off my body parts. It’s only difficult because I am emotionally prepared NOW and all of the (necessary) delays are very draining. I’ve started cancelling plans (what was to be my first visit to Steampunk November and our gang’s annual visit to Texas Renaissance Festival) and I think I’ll have to cancel more (we were going to host the family Thanksgiving dinner again this year). I’m trying to avoid bringing my life to a screeching halt up ’til the surgery, but I couldn’t wait until the last minute to cancel out on my friends. Cancelling some of the travel, though, freed me up to attend the Merry Marketplace (craft show fundraiser) here in town and hear Spilled Whiskey play at Paige Roadhouse, but now I think those plans will have to be cancelled, as well. But I don’t really know. I definitely won’t try to get a booth at the Merry Marketplace, dangit–just in case. So this is another list of things to do that I can’t do because of the things I have to do. In other words, I cannot do because of the doo-doo that I have to do before I can do the things that are keeping me from doing the things I want to do.
What’s next? Call the plastic surgeon. Get an MRI for an even more detailed look at my breastage. Visit the plastic surgeon. Re-visit the oncological surgeon. (Spell-check doesn’t like oncological but danged if I’m going to try to find another word.) At the moment we’re looking at a lumpectomy and radiation vs. a mastectomy. Either one will be accompanied by a breast reduction on the right boob to more closely match what’s left (or reconstructed) on the left. Considering the fact that I was thinking double mastectomy and complete reconstruction only two days ago, these are not bad options (although the tummy tuck to harvest some fat tissue is possibly off the table). I haven’t had a really in-depth conversation about the perkiness factor yet–I think the plastic surgeon is going to be my go-to for that to-do in the middle of all this doo-doo. The oncological surgeon did give me some hope for a possibly more youthful appearance, though. At my age, I consider youthful-looking boobs to be those of a 30-year old. Not asking for the world, here.
In the meantime, here I sit, pen in hand (or laptop in lap…whatever), waiting for the doo-doo to be wiped out so I can do the thing I have to do before I can do the things I was going to do since I can’t do the things I was going to do that were on my to-do list.