Six-mind numbing hours of online research, phone consultations, family history questionnaires and genetics counseling later, I have a new plan.
Since I am no longer beholden to specific travel dates, I have decided to cancel the separate node biopsy on 6/17. I now have an appointment with a breast reconstructor (although he may refer to himself as a plastic surgeon) on 6/20 & have been provided a consult to genetics (no appt scheduled yet).
If you are asking, "Duh! Why is she looking for genetics testing when she has already been diagnosed with breast cancer?" then let me break it down for you:
- Pink isn't my favorite color; (green is)
- I don't have a nicely shaped head so I won't look good bald;
- This has not been nearly as fun as it looks.
In other words, if I do have a genetic pre-disposition to breast cancer, I'll be having a double mastectomy. By the grace of [insert God, gods, goddess, nature, luck, etc. here], I have early stage breast cancer. However, I am still losing a breast. And, if my risk is genetically high, Pancho, while cancer-free now, is at more-than-normal risk in the future.
I don't want to do this twice and I certainly don't want to do this with a more advanced cancer.
If I do not carry a BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 mutation, I will happily keep my right breast.
If I do, then I'm pulling an (you knew it was coming!) Angelina Jolie.
So. This is my new plan. I should have a mastectomy date on the books by the end of the week. My surgeon, the breast care coordinator and the majority of the staff I've worked with at Kaiser have now learned that while I may have a well-earned reputation for bringing order to chaos in the work/school/home environments, I am actually a bit of a chaos factor when it comes to trying to predict my decisions. Butterfly effect, baby. It's all about the butterfly effect.
And I LOVE butterflies!