It's not the end of the world...Do I expect it? Well, I actually have suspected something when they took samples for biopsy; on the lump and the gland they discovered near the armpit. I was quite calm when the consultant told me that they found cancer cells on both spots. They assured me that it's treatable.
Breast cancer is quite common as one out of nine women is having it. Being at the place where I'm at now, I'm not that worried as they are very established and I believe I'm in pretty good hands with Allah's willing of course.
Before I write about the treatment that I will go through, I thought I'd recap on how I get into this. I've been having this lump for quite sometime now, I can't really remember from when. I thought it was just a milk gland and as I was busy, I kept on postponing seeing my GP about it. It was two weeks ago that I went for my pap smear and I requested the nurse to do a breast screening as I suspect there was a lump. She immediately referred my to the breast institute for further investigation. On March 3, 2009, I had a thorough check up by the specialist at the institute including mammogram, ultrasound and as well as biopsy where they poked long needle to get some samples from the lump.
They slot me in for an appointment with the plastic surgeon this morning and these are the three alternatives that they propose:
- Mastectomy - means removing the whole breast, including the nipple, followed by chemo and radiotherapy. A year after, breast reconstruction, taking tissues from the "spare tyre" at the abdomen. Sounds good eh as I could have a flat tummy. But I can't bear the thought of having one breast only for the entire year!
- Remove the whole tissues of the breast, leaving the skin out and putting in skin expander. After chemo and radiotherapy, take some tissues from the spare tyre and replace the skin expander.
- Remove affected area only including the nipple (during first operation), send the tumor to the lab and if they are sure that they have taken good margin of affected area, three weeks after, go for second operation to remove the gland and reconstruct the breast by taking muscle from my back. Then only go for chemo and radiotherapy.
I'm fond of alternative 3 as it offers the fastest recovery and hopefully less time spent during operation.
This is certainly a new experience that I've never thought of happening. My friends are very supportive; thanks for the thoughts and prayers. I received lots of supportive emails and text messages as well as calls that I won't be able to answer each and everyone. If you are reading this, thank you very much and I really appreciate it. What an odd way to become famous...