That’s the most honest thing I can say! Al and I went to the oncologist today for a second opinion. He spent 2 hours with us and poured over everything with astounding detail. We toured the cancer center. It was so disheartening and overwhelming to see the 4 large chemo rooms full of patients…..men and women….young and old….just like us….who were having to face death and life. Immediately adjacent to the chemo quad was a chapel. I started to cry when we approached it. I don’t know why- no one was in there……I just felt relief. I have been spending more and more time each day praising and worshipping God.
So….how’d the appointment go? Well, after a week full of fervent prayer that God would use this oncologist for His purposes, I feel the most peace I have felt since I first began this leg of the journey. He was completely sure that a mastectomy was not the appropriate thing to do. He felt the “walnut size” axillary lymph node, and said that a biopsy of that had to be done first. If there is cancer in the node, immediate chemo should be the protocol. This most likely could result in mastectomy down the road. But, if done up-front, a mastectomy could lead to a poorer outcome. If there is no cancer in the nodes, a short treatment of radiation should clear up the in situ cancer cells- and I wouldn’t need a mastectomy.
I am so elated I can’t even describe the joy and peace the Lord has given me! Al is not nearly as excited as I am. I think he fears that it is cancer in my nodes, and that would indicate an advanced stage. Things certainly aren’t any clearer after today. In fact, they probably are murkier. It isn’t so much that I am afraid of losing a breast……… if it must be, it will be. But I just had this gnawing feeling in my stomach that warned me that the “treatment” that they were rushing me into wasn’t the best thing for me- having that affirmed today was a major blessing. I was thanking God on the drive home for having blessed me with the intelligence and tenacity so that I could advocate for myself. While I was totally prepared to accept this 2nd opinion if it confirmed the first, I was also so grateful to see the fruits of my self-advocacy. Sometimes getting a 2nd opinion really makes a difference! And so, for now…..my mastectomy has been canceled!
So…we’re back to the drawing board. We are to wait a little longer as I get poked and cut some more, and for more results. We hope for the best, but are growing stronger each day, and feel prepared to accept whatever may come. Thank you for your prayers. They are much felt…..and much needed.