Life in the Slow Lane

Life in the Slow Lane

Friday, September 16, 2005

The Latest And The Greatest

I spent the afternoon at the Cancer Clinic today for something called a conference. What happens is you sit in an exam room wearing a gown and a doc who is not your normal doc reads over your file and comes in to examine you. Then he or she meets with your treatment docs and they discuss what is next for your treatment. So that is what happened to me. I am not really sure why I had to be there for the process and they really didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know. What is going to happen is that they are getting the referral ball rolling for my surgery and the process started for radiation therapy. The idea is that if the wait time for surgery is longer than 4-6 weeks then I will have radiation first. If surgery can be done soon then that will happen next. They just don’t want the radiation to be pushed back for months. Ideally it is better to have the surgery first as unradiated skin heals better and you get a better result on reconstruction. I hope the surgery can happen first because I want fabulous boobies.

I chatted with my radiation doc (who is male BTW) about the fact that I want a double mastectomy. He told me he doesn’t think it is medically necessary. He says just removing my right breast will be enough. I want both removed, as I just don’t trust the whole diagnosis process after everything that has happened to me. I have about a 25% chance of cancer occurring in my other breast in my lifetime and I am worried it won’t be found in time. My kind of cancer is notoriously more difficult to find. It doesn’t show up well with mammograms. I won’t get into all the details of my whole diagnosis again as you can read about that here but one day a lump was there when it wasn’t the day before. All the tests and docs said that it wasn’t cancer. When they discovered it was, in fact, cancer they thought it was very early stage. It was not-it had gone into my lymph nodes meaning chemo for me. It had been growing for years. I don’t ever want to have chemo again. I don’t ever want to have surgery and radiation again. I will have enough worry around cancer in my life without having an extraneous breast hanging around. I asked him what he would want for his wife. He said he would recommend for his wife just getting the one breast removed but would support a double mastectomy if the worry was too much. I think the worry will be too much for me. I want it off. I wouldn’t expect a guy to completely understand. I think he is very sympathetic being a cancer doc and all but he could never really KNOW! He said I could choose to have the other breast off at a later date but it could be a two-year wait for surgery. Why wait? Just have one surgery and get it all done at once. In any case I will be seeing a plastic surgeon and will figure it all out then. I think I may have to fight for this procedure and I don’t think that I should have to. I have been enough already. I am a very young woman with a lot of good years ahead of me and I want the best chances. 25% is a significant risk to me.

So that is where things stand right now with my treatment. In the meantime I have about 4 weeks off to get my blood counts back up and recover from chemo. Just in time for the new fall TV season. The slothitude continues…


fueltank said...

And fabulous bobies you shall have...

So I figure I better just ask the nosey questions up front. When you say reconstruction, are you talking boob-job? Are you going to get bigger ones, or replicate the ones you have now?

Okay, got all that out of the way...

Once again I am struck by your strength and determination. Not surprised, for anybody who can fabricate a ring with 96 stones set upside down is no person to underestimate, but still...

K was saying how young you were to face such choices, and she got teary. Cancer has affected her hard, losing her mom 14 years ago and friends and family seemingly every couple of years after that. I really hope you two can meet next time we are out, you are both such strong women.

If I had half the character of either of you I would be a better person. Stacey, when I think of your life and what you have faced from birth I am awed by your resiliancy.

Or are you just stubborn?

I found a blog you might enjoy, written by a woman who works in film in LA... hilarious acount of the business.

I am almost caught up and can't stop reading. Great stuff. See, it is 0410 and I am here writing this and reading her and definately not sleeping...

Susie said...

Oh {insert extreme, colorful curse words of choice here}. What a {} position to be in. Who has to make choices like this?! I know, I know a lot of people do, but goodlord, it's just a {} impossible situation. You seem, to me, to be very thoughtful and pragmatic about the whole {} situation. I think it is a damned shame to lose a perfectly healthy breast. But you have no way of knowing, REALLY knowing, if that's what you have. 25%? I agree with you, that's too mucking fuch. And if you do what you're thinking of doing, then you have a 100% chance of not having cancer in a breast again, right? I know you're factoring in your worry/anxiety level. Of course you have to do that. That is a considerable factor that some others may not have to weigh as heavily. You are, IMO, looking at this in such a healthy way. It's not "hang onto my tit as long as possible;" it's "get my LIFE back as soon and as fully as possible." I support you doing whatever, whatever, you decide you need to do. You are the one and only expert on you. Hugs, and prayers for surgery first.

SassyFemme said...

Follow your heart and your gut instincts and do whatever it is that YOU know you need to do for you, and your future health.

Squirl said...

Get yourself some fabulous boobies hon! I say get rid of both of 'em and you'll have that off of your mind. We want you around for a long time and 25% is not something to mess around with.

Here's hoping you can get the surgery soon!

Sharkey said...

Stick to your guns! Don't let some male doctor talk you out of what you know you want. I, too, decided to go with the double, even though it wasn't 'medically necessary.' My surgeon asked me several times if I was sure that's what I wanted. When she felt comfortable that I was sure, she said, "That's what I'd do too." You've had to deal with enough already--if this will help alleviate some of the worry then you should do it. Um, not that I have an opinion or anything. :)

Crossing my fingers and hoping they can get you in for some fabulous boobie surgery soon!

I am a Milliner's Dream, a woman of many "hats"... said...

Such heavy stuff to deal with and I am glad you have felt supported and upbeat. That's a big part of recovery for cancer survivors--I feel badly for those who don't have that support.

My grandma had a (right) mastectomy when I was a kid--and her sister, too (the left.) They'd stand next to each other and say they were a matched set. I remember humour being part of that healing, even as a kid.


ScottyGee said...

Go for as double wide. Oh sorry, in NC we are just predisposed to tailer talk. I mean, get rid of both of them and get a matched set. Maybe you can work out a 2 for 1 deal or something? =)

Even though having to make that decison sucks, how cool is it that you can totally pick out your perfect boobs? That's awesome.

Good luck with everything. Tough times ahead, but it's all going to be better for you AND your fab new boobs.


mrtl said...

While I don't wish to ever be in your situation, I would hope to be as strong about making these tough decisions.

You truly are an inspiration, Kranki!

Ern said...

Stand firm to get what you want. You are the one that has to live with it, and the doctors should comply. Good luck!

Precisiongirl said...

Congrats on standing up to your surgeon. Whenever I go to the doctors I turn into a 12 year old and just nod at everything they say - when I get home I curse myself for not disagreeing or at least asking more questions.

I'd go for the double also - keeping my fingers crossed for you all the way.

Have you thought about what new boobies you want? I bet they have this huge range.. from nubile & perky cheerleader to professional porn star!


jar said...

If the doctors try to talk you out of it just remember that you have a group of people here who are behind you cheering you on to make the decision that YOU feel best with.

east village idiot said...

Kranki -
If you feel deep in your heart that the boobie job is the way to go then stick with it.

I want to be reading this blog for a good long time. I want to read about Kranki falling in love, Kranki getting a kid, Kranki doing stuff that she enjoys.

Your in my prayers Kranki hoping to send you the clarity of thought and singleness of purpose that you need in the months to come.


eclectic said...

I cringe for people who have to have medical treatment/procedures nowadays if they don't have a LOT of persistence and fortitude, because it seems more and more like it requires you to be a pretty aggressive self-advocate to get appropriate care. You have been through ENOUGH turmoil and uncertainty! How could you ever relax if that 25% continued to hang over your head at every turn? Eeesh! I have my fingers crossed for early surgery for you, and that you'll get the nice, healthy rack you want.

Von Krankipantzen said...

Fuel-I am thinking a little bigger booby might be good. I gotta find some benefits from this. I truly believe that everybody has the inner strength to go through bad stuff. Just not everybody gets 'opportunities' to access that strength. I wish I didn't have to go through this now and I wish K didn't have to go through what she did either. But everybody is going to have to deal with hard shit at some point. And everybody will get through it just fine.

susie-mucking fuch! Hilarious. You hit it right on the head. I just want my life to go back to normal as quickly as possible. As much as it can with constant check ups and everything. I honestly think I would worry too much if I didn't have it off. I am a bit of a worrier.

sassyfemme-I really beieve in gut instincts and I didn't have to think too much about this decision. I 'FEEL' that it is the best choice for me.

squirl-I think we think alike. Just go big or go home!

sharkey-I know you REALLY REALLY understand.

milliner-if you don't have the humour you are totally toast. That is such a great story about your grandma and great aunt. I love that kind of spirit.

scottygee-I am kinda looking forward to getting to know my new boobies. I never thought I'd be a implant girl but never say never. They may not be double wide but they will be wider.

mrtl-shucks. I don't think I am any different from anybody else in these matters. I will grieve for my lost boobies and have really hard days. I wish I didn't have to make these decisions but there is something very liberating about being able to make some sort of decision in a cancer situation. So much of the time you feel helpless.

ern-thanks for the support. My boobies need a lot of support.

precision girl-I think perky is what I want. Just nice and perky. One thing I have learned through this is that you really have to advocate for yourself in medical situations. Your human-ness can be forgotten by docs a lot of the time. I didn't start out with my guns blazing but learned to be forthright over time. You will too.

jar-that is right! You guys rock! I will just give them my blog address and sit there with my arms crossed, foot tapping.

easty-thanks for your kind words. I want to be able to blog about all that too. I want the best chances for a good long life and I think a double M will be my best bet along with radiation, hormonal therapy and lots of thorough check-ups. I want to be proactive.

electic-thanks! You really have to be proactive with your own health these days. You just can't sit back any more or you will be forgotten. By that I mean your opinion, your feelings and your individuality will be lost. I don't blame docs as I think they have to distance themselves a lot but it can be too much sometimes.

Anonymous said...


Remember when you first began blogging and you mentioned that your lazy ass (aka intuition) was what got you to request the large needle biopsy in the first place, so trust that gut (or ass or boob or whatever).

You are handling this so well, it's incredible. How is your mom and dad dealing?

Um, I will see you soon. I hope you are well enough for a short visit in the middle of october.

I'll call you.

Mrs B

Michele in Michigan said...

Hey hon! I think you are doing the right thing. You have really thought this through and know what you want.

I totally agree with you re: the bilateral mast with that type of BC. My surgery (but without recon) was 8 years ago and I have NEVER regretted my decision. Ever. There is LOADS to say about peace of mind, my friend!!!

Let me know if there is anything I can offer. Hang in there, hon! You have what it takes to get through THIS step too!!!


JessicaRabbit said...

I just read this and want to do the new boobie mambo... Everybody! Form a conga line! Ready?

Kranki's got new boobies, HEY, Kranki's got new boobies, HEY, She likes big new boobies, HEY, We like her new boobies, HEY, When we get to see them, HEY, We all want to see them, HEY, But we need to see the old ones, WOO, Or how will we know the new ones?, WOO, Show us your nice boobies, NOW, Cant you see we need it,NOW, Or we can't be real helpful, WOO, Kranki's getting new BOOBIES!!!!!!!


That was my big finish. New boobies,plural. 2 boobies. I think that would be good.


kalki said...

I think you're wise to distrust the diagnosis process. I think you're wise to take a "better safe than sorry" approach. I think you're wise to want a double masectomy. (My aunt had breast cancer in just one breast and she made the same decision - the risk of future cancer was too troubling to her, too.)

And here is to fabulous boobies!

sirbarrett said...

I hope you get surgery soon. Have a comfy time getting all your fighter cells back.

abcd said...

Nobody asked my opinion but I think you are 100% on target with the plan you have. Stress is not a plus when you have cancer. 25% is not a low number. I say you are making the right choice. While your situation is totally different from Sarah's. The most aggressive is usually the best.
I hope you have the surgey first,
and enjoy your lounge time.
Tell your cousin hello from all of
us. Email Nikki (she is the expert on these things if you want a real opinion) she will be back the first week in October. In the interim I suggest trashy novels,
lots of decadent food, naps, all day pajama parties and pizza.