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Feb 9, 2018 10:53PM
I saw the plastic surgeon yesterday. He took time to answer all my questions, and loved that I brought a printed list with me. :) He explained why I would benefit from oncoplasty, and what the drawbacks were from not having the surgery. He agreed that waiting to do the right side was the best option.
I also had my second opinion yesterday. The cancer surgeon was a way better communicator than my current doctor. He seemed very compassionate an caring. I left his office feeling much better informed. He said on numerous occasions that I had a great team, and that the PS was the best in the area. The problem is, that the one dr. works for Multicare, and the other dr works for Franciscan. The second opinion dr explained that Multicare did not have a surgeon of the PS caliber, and none that could perform oncoplasty. :( I am very disappointed, as I would love to have this cancer dr as my surgeon. The first dr is a great surgeon. She performed my first lumpectomy. She is just a horrible communicator. For example, when she mentioned about doing oncoplasty she just talked to about it being a benefit to having cancer - your can get a boob job!! I said I didn't want to do that, just stick with the lumpectomy, and she said okay. That's it. She did say that I could go home and look in the mirror that night and let her know if I changed my mind. What if I wouldn't have changed my mind?! I wouldn't have known that it beneficial to my care to have the procedure done, due to the fact that the cancer is very close to the skin, and the chance of having seromas. I was informed that without the oncoplasty that my breast could end up deformed. The second opinion dr agreed that the oncoplasty was a good decision. My regular dr told me none of this. She made it out like it was surgery for cosmetic purposes.
Another example of the first dr's poor communication is when she talked to me about radiation. She simply said that there was whole breast radiation that would be 5 days a week, for 6-7 weeks. She said that my area was small, so I might be able to get by with 4 to 5 weeks. She also said that there was PBI - 2 times a day for 5 days. I said I would be interested in PBI due to not having a lot sick leave. She said okay, if we get clear margins PBI would be possible. When I mentioned PBI to the 2nd opinion dr. he said that he hasn't had anyone do that in a year. He explained the side effects, because of the port that is inserted to administer the radiation it has caused patients to have chronic pain years later, and it can cause hard tissue that makes it difficult to do self exams. Wow! The first dr. didn't tell me about this!! This gave me a lot more to think about before making a final decision.
I don't know what drs normally suggest, but I was told to get a sports bra with a zipper to wear post surgery and that I would have to wear it for 3-7 days. I have been having a lot of difficulty finding one that fits and doesn't cause irritation (sensitive skin). I went to at least six store, and even bought 2 on-line. I asked my first dr for a prescription to go to a place that sells specialty bras. She didn't want to write the prescription because she said that it would be hard to fit a bra until after my surgery. Wouldn't it be a bit late to get one then? My breast would be swollen, and sore, and I wouldn't be able to drive to the store for a fitting.
I did do the blood work for the genetic testing. I asked the nurse at the 1st dr office if it would be best for me to wait until I got the results back before scheduling the surgery. She said that I could get on the surgery schedule for a time after the testing comes back. I asked if I should wait until the results came back to have surgery, and she said that it didn't matter... but if the genetic testing came back and showed the Brip gene that the surgery could be a mastectomy!! How could she tell me that waiting for the genetic testing results to come back in didn't matter?! The dr said that the testing is more for ovarian cancer.
Really wishing that I could go to the second opinion dr or that there was a way to make the 1st dr better at communicating!!
Sorry for the long rambling post.
1/18/2018, IDC/IDC: Tubular, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+
3/1/2018 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel