Breast Cancer Prevention

Surgeon Appointment #1

I had my first appointment today with Dr. Martin regarding preventative breast cancer treatment. Being BRCA1 positive greatly increases my risk of developing breast cancer in the future.  

I was given two options: 1) have a mastectomy and reconstructive breast surgery 2) do high-risk scans twice a year between MRI and mammogram.

First & foremost, I need to get through my ovarian surgery and treatment. If I end up having to keep an ostomy, reconstructive surgery is out. So really, my options really depend on 17 March. If all goes well I'm leaning towards surgery. Of course, there's always a slight risk I could still develop breast cancer, but my chances are greatly reduced by the hysterectomy and the mastectomy. 

Decisions, decisions! 

MRI Screening

I had my Breast MRI today, 9 March. If you've never had an MRI, and you think you're claustrophobic, definitely let the technicians know. 

This MRI was a bit uncomfortable. First, I had to remove everything on me, to include my ostomy bag cover, and dress in lovely blue paper shorts and a gown. I'm glad they let me keep my beanie in my head or I would have froze.

Next, for the MRI table, I had to lay face down on my belly with my breast exposed over these two holes. Um, I have two ostomies so that wasn't going to happen. When I'm in yoga I have to place a rolled blanket under my hips so my stomach is off the ground. I pretty much had to do the same thing here. The tech gave me a bunch of towels so I could maneuver myself into the correct position.

My IV got hooked up to contrast and I was on my way into the bubble. I think I was in that machine for at least 30 minutes. Even with earplugs, it's still a bunch of loud noises coming from it. I just did my best to relax by practicing meditative breathing. 

I'm hoping I hear something in the next day or two. I'll update here. 

MRI Results

Well, I didn't expect this! I received a call from mammo wanting to make an appointment for an ultrasound. Something was seen on my upper right breast that they believe is benign, but they want me to come in to be sure. I really can't deal with breast cancer while I'm trying to deal with ovarian cancer. I really hope it's nothing. Ultrasound is scheduled for Tuesday, 16 March.

Ultrasound Results

Nothing to worry about. It was just my lymph nodes that moved a bit closer to my breast on both sides. Grateful that was the outcome. Now I will be monitored every 6 months between and MRI and Mammogram until I decide on a mastectomy date. 

Change of Heart

I've been thinking hard about whether or not to do this surgery. I met with a friend the other day and she told me about a friend of hers that was also BRCA 1 positive and had ovarian cancer as well. Her friend chose not to have surgery and just get high-risk monitoring. I can't remember how long it's been, but she has not developed breast cancer. I know everyone is different. From the way things have gone with my ovarian cancer journey, I'm afraid to take the risk. I'm also afraid to get the surgery. I've been through 3 major surgeries in the last 6 months and I'm tired. 

What would you do? I'm so torn. 

Mammogram 27 Sept

Got it on the schedule. Checking my tatas. Mammogram went good. No news is good news. Just waiting to get my letter in the mail. 

Great news! Mammo was all clear. 🥳

2nd MRI Scheduled

Next Breast MRI scheduled for Thursday, 23 December at 645am. WTH!

Got my port accessed so I don't have to get poked a million times in an attempt to get an IV. It never works. 

Another successful MRI. If I had to imagine what is like to be abducted by aliens, an MRI would be it. I'm face down in this machine, I can't move and I have to take shallow breaths for 40 mins. Meanwhile this machine is making loud, beeping sounds repeatedly to the point it almost drives you crazy. Then I get an itch on my cheek I can do nothing about, so I start counting the beeps to take my mind off of this itch. 40 minutes later I'm free! 

27 Dec

Got a call from doc, scan was clear. See you next year MRI machine. 

14 Feb Happy Valentine's Day

I finally met my permanent oncologist since Dr. Phippen left in June 2021. It's Dr. Han! She seems pretty cool. It's not Dr. Phippen but I will adjust. We talked a lot about ny history and my BRCA mutation. She suggests I get the mastectomy sooner than later. So I decided Fall 2023. I want to wait until Diego graduates. Last thing I need to do is put him through more hospital stats for me. Maybe even Jan 2024, we'll see. Either way, I'm going to do it. It's just a matter of when.

No more cancer for me if I can prevent it!

Mammogram 2 October 2023

Results came back negative for cancer. Continue to be grateful for my health.

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