Had a surgeon... lost a surgeon
I was recently diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. I am part of a high risk breast cancer program as my sister and father both had breast cancer. I get a yearly mammogram and MRI as a result of being in this program.
My sister died at 61 from breast cancer that spread to her bones and my dad had breast cancer in his 30's but died from pancreatic cancer at 61. I just turned 60 in March. A few days before my birthday I had an MRI. I was told my doctor would get the results in 7 days. Thirty-six hours later, however, I got a call from the hospital saying that my MRI showed a "suspicious" mass. I was asked to go in for a follow up ultrasound. A few days after the ultrasound I got a call from a surgeon's office saying that I had an appointment. I had no idea what the test results displayed but was extremely upset that in a matter of days I was already seeing a surgeon. My mind was jumping to worst case scenarios.
I had a consultation with the surgeon who was so kind and answered all my questions. He said by the looks of things that there was an 80 percent chance that the mass was cancerous but that we wouldn't know until after the biopsy. I told him that I would want to do a double mastectomy with reconstruction if it turned out to be malignant. He was very supportive of that decision and said he would refer me to an excellent plastic surgeon if necessary.
A week later I got the results that the mass was indeed cancerous. I was sent to a plastic surgeon and had a consultation about the process of reconstruction. This surgeon was extremely kind as well. I felt like I was in excellent hands for both procedures that would take place in the operating room simultaneously. I left the appointment feeling so relieved that I had lucked out with two amazing surgeons. All they had to do was find a common time in the operating room in which they could do their work in tandem.
I received a call from the first surgeon on Friday that he had no room in his schedule to do the surgery in the next 6 weeks. He wants me to have the surgery sooner than that for obvious reasons. He had been hoping to jump into one of the plastic surgeon's time slots where they could work co-operatively. Unfortunately, the plastic surgeon has had all his time slots removed due to Covid. He had assumed he could jump in on the first surgeon's time slot.
My surgeon told me that he has now referred me to a surgeon at Princess Margaret. I was devastated that these 2 surgeons who had made me feel so at ease could no longer help me out. I have no idea if the new surgeon will take me on or if her time is booked for the next 6 weeks as well.
When I heard this news on Friday I was devastated. I know scheduling is beyond the surgeon's control, but I felt abandoned none the less. I realize that this is not a personal thing, but I'm sure you all understand the sentiment.
I haven't heard from the new surgeon's office yet but I pray she will take me on. I know PM is one of the best hospitals out there for treating cancer. Maybe all of this will end up ok but the waiting is so difficult.
To those of you administering this site, thank you so very much for offering a place for us to share our stories and interact with a community who understands exactly what we are going through.
To those of you recently diagnosed, or those of you who have navigated this journey for years, I wish you all the best.