By Jen Jurgens
Dani, Steph and I sat in the conservatory at Lack’s Cancer Center before my appointment today and discussed the probable outcomes. I absolutely refused to have another biopsy . . . no way was I going to go through that again! And then we discussed ovary removal, which follows mastectomy typically when you test positive for the BRCA1 or 2 gene mutation. Dani and I decided to get them removed together. Similar to the couples’ massage, we were going to do our surgery together. Based on my strong family history it seemed to be the obvious path.
Imagine our surprise when Dr. Caughran announced, “Your genetic testing results are in. They are negative.” We were dumbfounded. We just sat there, mouths open, staring at her. So she waits a second and offers the leading, “This is a good thing . . . ” This is HUGE. It basically means that I don’t have to go to sleep at night wondering when (not if) I would get cancer again. I could still get it (anyone can) but I’m not genetically predisposed. WOW.
So guess what I’m doing tomorrow? Another biopsy. Just as my friend Tasha said, “You prepare yourself for options A and B and they throw C at you.” The third spot on my left breast is in a different quadrant than the other two. If it IS cancerous, then I get a mastectomy. If it’s not, then I have options. They believe they can remove the first two spots with lumpectomy followed by radiation . . . and then 5 years of tamoxifen.
Brian is taking me to Grand Rapids for the MRI biopsy tomorrow at noon (another date!). This is a new type of biopsy for me and it actually combines the worst of both worlds. I get the needle shot into my breast again AND this time I’ll be in the MRI tube with my boobs hanging through a hole in the table (this makes 3 times for those of you keeping a count). If I’m truly lucky I’ll request jazz this time and it will end up being Rod Stewart Sings the Standards . . . and Christmas Favorites.
I know this all still sucks and I’ve got some hurdles to overcome yet, but today is the first time I left the center feeling like myself. Truly ready to kick ass.