Wednesday, December 4, 2013

LUMPECTOMY FOR BEGINNERS instincts and post-op visit

The best advice I got from Dr. Zeitler's PULSE  Be Lucky post was " trust your instincts but do not follow them blindly."  

Today I will see the surgeon for the 2-week post lumpectomy check up.

 Before the surgery, I had asked him plenty of questions about how I would be afterward.  He told me that the pathology report would probably say I didn't need any more surgery.   Of course I wanted to be told I could just go home and get well.

He had seemed sure that I was getting ahead of myself, but he reluctantly said he would recommend that I see a radiation oncologist and a medical oncologist.  The radiation oncologist is a woman, and my experiences with female doctors has not been great.  Radiation!  A woman!  My instinct said "RUN."   

And medical oncologist!  And tamoxifen was mentioned.   My instinct said, "Don't make me!!!  I have enough problems!"

Then my instinct got connected to my reasoning power.

 I rang the doorbell of a neighbor who is a breast cancer survivor.  She told me her story, including that radiation did not make her sick. She gave me loads of support.   And told me she wants to talk after today's appointment.  She told me that she and her husband had really liked her oncologist.  Will I?

I reminded myself that "I'll need a second opinion," is not cussing if you say it politely.  That it's possible to look for a way to get along,  But that sometimes we have to say goodbye to doctors if we cannot get along.

Today I'll take those two names.

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