If you have read the rest of my journey up to this point, you would know we left off shortly after having a breast MRI. The results of those images led me to need yet another mammogram followed by another ultrasound. Up until this point I had 23 appointments between all of the scans, in-person visits, lab draws and biopsies. But they didn’t stop there.
What were the MRI results?
The MRI resulted in more questions than answers. Between the two breasts, I had well over 30 cysts. THIRTY! That was a hard pill to swallow. And that wasn’t all of it. There was a large mass located on the MRI that couldn’t be reached by the follow-up mammogram or ultrasound. My surgeon had no way of telling what was exactly it was or how long it had been there.
Enough is enough!
With everything my family and I had been through with all of the appointments, I was so mentally exhausted. It felt like I was just running on a hamster wheel and couldn’t get off. The more testing I completed, the more they found which always led back to more testing. And with this new finding of a mass that wasn’t seen before I needed to know what my options were.
Given my high-risk of breast cancer with a positive BRCA mutation, all of my scans and now this unreachable mass, my doctor sat me down and explained to me that I have 1 of 2 options – neither of which were ideal.
I can continue to monitor my breast every 3 months until something manifests and then begin treatment. This would include, but not limited to bloodwork, mammograms and MRI’s, specialists and surgeons. Every. Three. Months!
I have a double mastectomy with reconstruction.
Here’s what I chose to do
For me, this was a no-brainer. I knew what I had to do for myself and my family. I opted to proceed with the double mastectomy to sorta “get it over with.” With all of my test results and positive BRCA mutation, I was already at an 87% chance for getting breast cancer. Now there’s an unknown mass thrown into the mix and I was just done with all of it. By having this surgery it takes my chances down to 10%. You see, neither of these 2 options were ideal but this was the hand I was dealt.
What happens next?
My breast surgeon had to set me up with a surgeon that could perform the reconstruction part of things. Apparently there are many different reconstructions options after having a mastectomy (who knew) but the most common seem to be:
– DIEP flap
– Going flat
– Straight to implants (Saline or Silicone)
– Expanders to implants
This is just part of my story and how my bilateral mastectomy came to be on January 8th, 2020. I will continue to update the site as I put the content together.