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May 29, 2007 11:13AM
It is certainly a difficult decision but I know you have been reading and researching and trying to feel out just where your emotions lie. I can only tell you that for me it was absolutely the right decision and I have no regrets now 18 months later.
The factors that came into play for me were:
1. Being Stage 3 with many positive nodes, I felt my risk of recurrence or mets was too high to have reconstructed breasts muddy the waters.
2. Even without my Stage 3 diagnosis I was already skeptical about submitting my body to another major surgery and the lengthy reconstruction process with all its potential risks and outcomes.
3. At my age and point in life my priorities revolve more around physical comfort, ease of daily activities and convenience as opposed to physical appearance or fashion sense.
4. I had a pretty accurate gut feeling of my ability to accept and learn to live with my new body image. I still needed an adjustment period to get used to the changes both physical and emotional, but it was not that difficult a process for me.
For me the secret was to list my priorities. I knew that most of all I wanted to be a cancer survivor and get my physical body healthy as soon as possible. I knew from my previous bout with cancer that issues of hair loss and that "chemo look" were just not something I worried about. I felt I could learn to live without breasts more easily than dealing with reconstruction, ongoing mammograms and worry about recurrence.
For me it was the right choice and I have a sense of freedom that I don't think I would have had with reconstruction.
Wallycat, just be as honest with yourself as you can, make the decision that for you will give you the most peace, and then recognize that you have the strength to face whatever comes your way.
My thoughts are with you,
Life is not measured by how many breaths we take...but by the moments that take our breath away! ...I am a 14/9 yr survivor of 2 Primary BCs, 23/23 Positive Nodes (Zometa x 5 years) Started Paloma-3 Clinical Trial 4-14-14
7/14/2000, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 2/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
8/11/2000 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel
8/30/2000 AC + T (Taxol)
2/26/2001 Breast, Lymph nodes
11/21/2005, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 1, 23/23 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
12/5/2005 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right
12/23/2005 Taxotere (docetaxel), Xeloda (capecitabine)
4/7/2006 Aromasin (exemestane)
4/7/2006 Breast, Lymph nodes
3/21/2014, ILC, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2-
4/14/2014 Faslodex (fulvestrant)