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Sep 14, 2019 07:43AM
Sep 14, 2019 08:10AM
Eigna, I had planned to go alone too since no one suggested I have someone with me. I thought the "counseling" would be more along the lines of what choices I would have should my results come back positive, but it really was more of creating a family map of who had had cancer, what kind, and at what age. That map was then used to consider which panel of tests to run. My mother provided information I never even knew about both her side of the family and my father's. The counselor asked questions that went into generations beyond my grandparents which I hadn't expected. I wouldn't say you need to have someone with you, but it may be helpful, depending on how well you know your family's history.
If you have told your mother by the time of your appointment, you might want to consider if she would be helpful to have along with you. I had my mom go to a few doctor appointments with me, and sometimes it stressed me out more to have her with me than to have gone alone or have my husband instead, but I was very glad to have had her at the genetics counseling one.
It sounds like you know that you will eventually have to share your news because you will rely on your mom for some help. What helped the most as far as my mom was concerned was that I realized this diagnosis affected her too and that she needed to do things to help her feel useful, so while I didn't have her go to my surgeries (my husband had that duty), I allowed her to dote on me afterwards which I enjoyed more than I thought I would. I did set a few loose boundaries. For example, I took the day after surgery to just rest and sleep and insisted I did not need her to come to my house, but the day after, when I was feeling better, she came and brought me homemade soup and we just had a nice afternoon watching old movies. I am sure that whenever my mom was with her "lady bird friends" as we refer to them, that she likely made it a little bit about herself, but in my presence, she was actually pretty good. My parents are in their 80's, and I was very worried about placing my burden on them, but they are stronger than I gave them credit for.
Just a note regarding surgery day....someone above suggested a babysitter if that works for you, estimating your time to be away approximately 4 hours. If you are having a sentinel node biopsy along with a lumpectomy, and if you will have localization wires placed, you could potentially be there much longer. My first surgery which included the sentinel node biopsy ended up being almost an entire day. First I checked in at the main hospital, then was sent to the attached breast cancer center where I received the injection of the tracer dye for the SNB and had the procedure to place the localization wires to guide the surgeon to the site that was biopsied. After that, I had a mammogram to make sure they were placed correctly. Then I returned to the surgical waiting area in the main hospital and waited to be called back. The surgery itself took about an hour and 45 minutes, but there was pre-op preparation and post-op recovery too. It also happened to be a busy day for surgeries that day. When it was all said and done, I had checked in at 7:30 AM and was sent home at 5:30 PM, so it was a long day.
You are in what was for me the most difficult phase. Once I woke up from my first surgery, I sensed immediately that much anxiety had left my mind, and then once my treatment plan was in place, I felt even better. Hang in there and even though as women it is in our nature to worry about everyone else, please take care of yourself too. Hugs to you!!!
"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, compassion, some humor, and some style." -Maya Angelou
1/15/2019, DCIS/IDC, Right, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH)
1/23/2019 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
2/25/2019 Lumpectomy: Right
4/7/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Chest wall
5/10/2019 Arimidex (anastrozole)