August 29, 2012

MEETING WITH THE SURGEON

 

My husband, Nick, and I went to Louisville to meet with my surgical oncologist, Dr. McMasters on August the 25th.  I was very nervous about this meeting and did not know what to expect.  When Dr. McMaster’s came into the room the first thing he mentioned was the fact that Nick was wearing a Philly’s t-shirt.  It turns out that the doctor is originally from New Jersey and was familiar with Nick’s hometown in PA.

Dr. McMaster’s immediately put me at ease.  His voice and overall manner was very calming.  He explained to Nick and I about the type of breast cancer that I have (Invasive Lobular Carcinoma and an area of Lobular Carcinoma In Situ).  The first area is considered invasive because it has spread outside of the lobule where the cancer originated.  The second area (in situ) has not spread from the original area.   I was also told that the pathology showed that the cancer is estrogen and progesterone positive which is considered “good” and HER2 negative which is also considered “good”.

I was then given my options regarding treatment of my breast cancer.  Nick and I ultimately decided on a bilateral mastectomy and Dr. McMaster’s agreed with the decision.  He talked to us about what to expect and that he would be doing a sentinel lymph node biopsy at the same time.  The pathologist will look at the lymph nodes while I am still in surgery and if the first samples are clear of cancer cells he will not have to take any more out.  If there are cancer cells found in the first sample, more lymph nodes will have to be removed until they find clear ones.

Dr. McMaster’s then recommended reconstruction and asked if I would like to meet the plastic surgeon that he works with to see about the options available.  Dr. Little came in to speak to me and like Dr. McMasters, he was also very calming.  I will admit to being very nervous about this visit.  Dr. little told me and nick about the different types of reconstruction options available and after examining me we chose to go with immediate placement of tissue expanders at the time of the mastectomy.  These will be placed behind the muscle wall and I will have to go in weekly for them to be filled with a saline solution to slowly stretch the muscle to make a pocket for the final implants.  The final implants will require another surgery several months down the road.

Once this part of the visit was complete I was scheduled for pre-op testing on Thursday, August 30th at U of L and then my surgery will be on the following Thursday, Sept. 6th at 9:00 am at U of L hospital.

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