I sent this email to my friends and family just now. I will upload the details of my appointment this morning at a later time – right now, my son is napping so I’m going to also!
I wanted to let you know that I have a date for my surgery – March 11. Although it turns out there’s a lot more DCIS present than my doctor originally thought, she says it’s still non-invasive and I shouldn’t need any treatment after the surgery.
After meeting with several doctors, I’ve chosen a breast surgeon and a plastic surgeon who I really like, and I’m confident in their abilities. I will be having a double mastectomy, during which she’ll examine the tissue more closely along with a lymph node – this is just to verify that it hasn’t spread. At the same time, I’ll be having DIEP flap reconstruction – in English, that means a boob job and a tummy tuck – I’m actually kind of excited about it!
It’s a long surgery (10-12 hours) along with a long and difficult recovery, but I’m up for the challenge and will be completely relieved to know that all of the cancer will be gone for good.
The Chair of my department and HR have been very helpful – I will likely be taking an 8-week leave from work, and most or possibly all of it will be paid.
I’m trying to use this ‘occasion’ for advocacy and to make others aware of the need for early detection, particularly those who should be screened for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (and Ashkenazi Jews specifically). Inspired by my new friend, Robin, who is the co-leader of the local chapter of FORCE, I’ve started a fundraising page. I hope you’ll take a look. As motivation for myself to get as healthy as possible before the surgery, I will donate $10 to the fund every time I eat cake or fried food between now and then (how embarrassing will it be when I end up the largest contributor?).
Thanks for your support so far.