My annual exam was Jan.7th, 2009 with a Mammogram on the 8th. With-in 12 days I was back for a higher tech mammo, ultra sound and to my surprise, a biopsy. In one more week, we were meeting with my surgeon for results and a consult. 80% of the lumps are just lumps. Mine showed a malignancy. Our HMO does not mess around. Surgery was scheduled, "just in case." They encouraged me to seek a second opinion if there were any doubts.
For my age, (63) the two recommendations were lumpectomy with 5 weeks of radiation or mastectomy. My right breast was already considerably smaller than the left. Lumpectomy would have made the size difference worse. Mastectomy with a possible reconstruction down the road was the right choice for me. Arimidex, a hormone blocker, is recommended too.
The mastectomy was done on Feb.10th. For pain control, my surgeon used a pump device called ON-Q. It is a drip system that numbs the incision. My recovery was easy and pretty much pain free. Not having to work really helped. How in the world do young women with children do it?
If you are lucky like me and have the support of family and friends, breast cancer can be reduced to just one more bump in the road. Early detection is very important! If I had skipped my annual mammogram, my fight would be much more difficult. The lump was "hiding" under my nipple. It was difficult to feel even when shown where it was. My stage one cancer with negative nodes is so much easier to fight than it could have been. Thank heaven for Mammograms. My Doctor expects me to be around to watch our Grand kids grow up. Life is good!