Oct 18, 2021 05:30PM
I'm having trouble determining if my breast surgeon is just a delusional ray of sunshine, or if I truly don't have much to worry about.
In our initial meeting, the breast surgeon described cancer as a pet - some people have a pet goldfish, and some have a pet dragon. She told me I had a goldfish, even drew me a picture of one on my biopsy results. The surgeon talked about my tumor being the lowest grade, maybe 1cm (even though imaging and biopsy and palpation indicated otherwise) and there was no way it had spread to the nodes. She recommended lumpectomy and SNB, I opted for BMX w/immediate implant reconstruction due to a lengthy family history (genetic testing was negative though).
Surgery was on 10/8, and recovery is going well. I was in the office today to have my drains removed, and discussed the pathology report with the surgeon. My tumor was grade 2, 2.1cm, surrounded by grade 3 DCIS. It is ER+/PR-/HER2-. Of the two nodes pulled, one had a 4mm macrometastasis. The right breast had inflammation and microcalcifications but no cancer.
I consult with the MO and RO on 11/8, and I asked the surgeon if she had any feel for what further treatment would be required. She said maybe radiation, but didn't think chemo or any additional exploration of the nodes would be necessary. She said that since only one of two nodes had cancer, there was no reason to believe any other nodes would have cancer, and for all intents and purposes it's safe to assume I have no more cancer anywhere in my body. She does seem to really love hormone therapy, which it seems some folks tolerate better than others.
The surgeon is a nice person, and I don't really question her medical ability, but I also don't feel like I truly have a goldfish if there's lymph node involvement. I don't wish extra or unnecessary treatment upon anyone, including myself, but I see others with one node out of 15 or 20 positive getting chemo and ALND. My dad died due to a missed metastatic cancer diagnosis, and I'm scared this surgeon's blase' attitude would lead me down a similar path - but I don't know if my judgment is clouded based on my dad's experiences.
Recognizing that every case is different, is my pathology really that boring? Am I getting the treatment I need? And is there any way to guess what my Oncotype score would be? I'm only 42, and would definitely take chemo now to feel like I fought as hard as I could if it was offered.
10/1/2021 Lymph node removal (Left): Sentinel; Mastectomy (Left): Skin Sparing; Mastectomy (Right): Skin Sparing; Reconstruction (Left): Silicone implant, Silicone textured implant; Reconstruction (Right): Silicone implant, Silicone textured implant
11/19/2021 AC + T (Taxol)
5/9/2022 Whole breast: Chest wall, Lymph nodes, Left breast
6/1/2022 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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