Well, I was fortunate enough to have that choice because the tumour was at a size where I could have a lumpectomy or mastectomy. Also there was just one. So, we had to have the MRI before the surgery because if there had been more than one cancerous tumour in the breast, I don’t think I would have had that choice, but I did have that choice, so, I was fortunate. For people who do have that choice.
Interviewer: Yes it is difficult, because you don’t have all the information.
Oh my God I just I couldn’t even say those terms at the point, when I was being asked to pick between them and it was really hard.
Interviewer: Do you have time to choose?
Well they were like, you can choose, just take you time, and decide what’s right for you, but at the same time, as you’re taking this time to educate yourself and learn, you have this cancerous thing growing inside you, so you don’t want to spend your whole life deciding. It’s like maybe, I had thought after too, I think it was like a week and a bit that I took to decide, and then I had like this micro spec in my lymph node, and I was like, maybe if I didn’t take that week to decide, I wouldn’t have had the cancer in my lymph node and that’s a terrible thing to think. But maybe that’s true, I don’t know.
It’s a lot, it’s obviously one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever have to make, but I think I knew from the beginning which one I wanted to do but then just talking to the surgeon and saying I got the sense that they would lean towards a mastectomy, because it was like, “You’re young you have your whole life ahead of you, you don’t want this to come back.” But I just felt like the mental stress and emotional stress of waking up with no breast, when I had the option not to, was something that I wouldn’t put myself through if I didn’t have to, yet at this point. I know other people are different, other people would just say if there’s any chance of this ever happening again take it all off, but that wasn’t me, and based on the statistics, it’s a safe decision to have a lumpectomy and radiation, so why not?
Interviewer: Did you feel it was okay that that responsibility was put with you as a patient or would you rather have had a healthcare professional telling you “You have to do a lumpectomy or a mastectomy”?
No I’m glad I got to make the decision in hindsight but at the time it was overwhelming, especially if someone, especially if they would say to me, if they would tell me the option I didn’t want. If they would say to me these two options are about the same but I’m going to make you have this one, I don’t think that would have been fair. So, in that way, I feel fine about having made the choice myself, but it was overwhelming. I went a lot on Up-to-Date to find all about lumpectomy and mastectomy and stuff like that too. I can say those words, I couldn’t say that in March, I couldn’t say those words it was terrifying. It was just like, I would cry every time, I said it and now it’s done, and over with, and it wasn’t that bad. It’s like you get through all these various stages of it and they’re not as bad, it sucks but it’s like, you get through it.