Saturday, January 05, 2008

MDA later, Surgery Sooner

I'm the kind of person that has to get used to an idea for a while, so after I talked to MD Anderson yesterday, I just had to have some time to myself. The changes are big, in my mind and so I had to have some time to wrap my brain around those changes.

There are some good reasons to do things in this order, and I understand that. The surgery is going to come first. They would offer to let me have the surgery in Houston, but I don't want to do that. I'm not flying back to home on an airplane with drains in me and stuff like that. I have a good, good relationship with my surgeon in Atlanta, so I'm going to do it here and recover with Jenn's help.

At the time of the surgery, pathology tissue will be collected and sent to MDA for their examination and culturing. That way they have the tissue to any special tests they want to do. I'm happy about that because of my botched biopsy early on, and because they'll be doing more extensive testing than what's done here.

Once I have my drains out, I can go to MDA. There is no rush on their part, but there is on this end, because Jenn will be going back to work. So we will work things as best as we can.

MDA does treatment. So I am going out there for treatment. I'll be evaluated by the medical oncologist to determine what treatment(s), if any, are available to me, and I will be treated there.

I've called my surgeon and left a message for them to get with me so we can get the surgery over with. There is something not right about just having a major portion of my body taken away. I've been with those boobs for 56 years, and they're just going to be cut away and sent to some lab and chunked up and the "waste" I suppose is incinerated or whatever. But that's ME they're doing that with. I feel like I need a way to say "goodbye" to this part of me and I'm not sure yet what that is because it feels very heavy and emotional, and I don't deal well with that side of life. I'd feel the same way if it was a leg or arm or whatever. But there is something more personal about this tissue that has sat on my chest for 56 years close to my heart. It is like part of my emotional self is being cut away, and that feels very, very sad.

So while I realize what I am doing is the right thing, I'm also struggling a little right now. I KNOW I'm doing the right thing. I KNOW it. But that doesn't make it an easy thing to face in the near term.

Just say a prayer for me, and the docs, and I'll get my brain wrapped around it and I'll move on. THIS is just a speedbump in the road of life.


Anonymous said...

Dearest friend, You are undoubtedly the strongest person I know. I am so very, very proud to know you, to witness the growth that you are doing. You amaze me. Your clarity, your thoughts, your thoroughness....just amazing. My prayers are with you. I place God around your surgeons' hands. I know that this is something huge and yet you call it a speed bump. Let me know if you might like to see an old friend. I hope to get my car back on Monday, if not the truck can make the trip. I need to want to see you. Lover, Randy

Anonymous said...

Joann, thought about you all day. I hope today finds you full of grace and ready for the changes. I have learned that there is always (and I mean that) something good around the corner, just watch for the curb as you navigate. Hugs, Mary Anne

Anonymous said...

I had to think about this subject when I got my abnormal mammo. I felt as if they would be taking my feminity away. But, then I decided it wasn't so. I think that comes from the inside. You are doing an amazing job Anne. I agree it would be such a hassle to travel with drains and such. Don't worry about when you come to Houston. If Jenn can not be here with you, I will, and I can almost bet Carol M. will be. We love you. Take one day at a time and don't be so hard on yourself if the emotional end isn't easy to deal with. It isn't for anyone in your shoes! Love ya, Diane