We didn’t. The results were microscopic (thus the difficulty for the surgeon in getting every last little bit) but they were there all the same. The radiologists like clear margins before using radiation treatment. They didn’t get them.
I decided we could fiddly-fart around and nickel and dime the breast into oblivion, trying to get clear margins, but that seemed like it would be even more traumatic to the body than just taking all the potentially compromised tissue at one swell foop. *G*
I never did like the idea of radiation, almost as much as I didn’t like the idea of chemo and, while I think both these things can be life-saving, there’s a fine line that nobody can really draw, where the methods become deleterious rather than helpful. Removal of the breast negates the need for radiation.
Radiation is a blunt instrument but when your options are limited, you have to use what you can get. I’m not convinced that it heals more than it harms but I suppose that depends on a lot of case by case basis stuff. You really have to depend on your doctor for a lot and make a decision you can’t ever be sure of.
The radiation (and chemo) was a big deal for me so I’m rather glad about the way this turned out. The body is already under attack and then we want to hit it with more assailants? Seems counterproductive when you aren’t sure where the line between help and harm is drawn.
The surgeon did say they could do a reconstruction at the same time, taking fat from my belly (YAY! A free “liposuction!” LOL) but then she said it was an all-day surgery and I’m not convinced it’s good for the brain, not to mention the body, to have that much anesthesia for that long.
So we’ll see how the scarring turns out and if I want to do reconstruction in the future. From pictures I’ve seen, the scarring can range from horrific to no big deal. Since I’m fat, it could be a bit of a problem. We’ll see. This surgeon is pretty darn good.
I can’t remember who I was writing to, now, but I said that I’m not afraid of being dead, I’m just not too keen on the method of dying. Which I don’t expect to do from this in any case, but it gives me a reference point to hang my decisions on.
So for the next three weeks or so I finally get to relax a bit. No dark-thirty trips to a hospital 40 miles away to get something or other done, or having to stress through all the highway construction between here and there. It played havoc with my blood pressure.
Then the surgery, and I come home the next day.
There will be differences in the aftermaths of surgery, like drains and such, but I can handle handle that.
“Stories From the Heart VII” Women’s Memoir Conference: April 11-13, 2014, Austin TX