Gotta keep on keepin' on.......

Cancer again...that's 3 times in 2 years. This time it’s not breast cancer, but a new one called squamous cell carcinoma. New cancer, same old fighting spirit! My blog is still named for one of many songs that kept me going the first time around. Driving home from an upsetting appointment, I turned on the radio just as this line from Steve Miller Band's Jet Airliner was playing: "I've got to keep on keepin' on" I did just that. And I'll do it again.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Some pre-surgery thoughts.....

I have been puttering around the house tonight. Packed my bag, straightened my bedroom (in case anyone wants to dust and vacuum while I'm out), snacked all evening since I can't eat or drink after midnight and I know I'll be hungry.

Looked at my breasts in the mirror for a few minutes, since that seemed like the proper thing to do the night before a mastectomy, but 1) was not impressed and 2) didn't feel an overly sentimental need to say good-bye.

I had waffled briefly today, wondering again if I was doing the right thing by opting for a bilateral mastectomy. But based on my ho-hum reaction when I looked in the mirror tonight, I'm guessing I'll be fine with it. As long as I don't wake up from the anesthesia screaming that someone stole my breasts.

Having a mastectomy, double or not, doesn't guarantee that I'll never have cancer again. It could go to the chest wall if it's really that stubborn. But removing most of the breast tissue significantly reduces the places for the cancer to grow, and I am comfortable with that. Studies have shown that women who do a lumpectomy followed by radiation have the same prognosis as women who opt for the mastectomy. Well, I already DID the lumpectomy and radiation, and I had just a 15% chance of recurrence after that.....and here I am with cancer again! My chance of getting cancer in my now-healthy breast is maybe slightly higher than the average woman. But I wasn't a high risk for the 1st cancer to begin with!

So this time, I'm going to be as aggressive as my cancer seems to be. I'd much rather regret being aggressive than regret playing it safe.


  • At 9/28/07, 4:37 PM, Blogger Sherry Smyth said…

    It's the end of the week now KT...I hope the surgery and the days following have been comfortable for you. Your attitude going in to the mastectomy seemed sound and solid. You have thought this through and you are being proactive and aggressive yourself. That alone should make you feel empowered.
    My positive thoughts are with you. No one wants to do the "second time around" but if it's back and it needs to be dealt with...then aggressive is the way to go.


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