Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Plan

We've been busy here, Brett and I.  Last Wednesday I had an appointment with a breast surgeon here on Long Island.  He was very kind, very competent and came very highly recommended by my gynecologist, whom I adore.  His take was that we caught this pretty early, that my request for a bilateral radical mastectomy was reasonable, and that radiation wouldn't come into play and chemo was even questionable.

On Thursday I went for an MRI of the breast.  It's a more detailed view of everything, and it showed the lymph nodes as well which was a new view outside of the mammogram and the sonogram.  The results would take 2-3 days and, with Labor Day in between, Tuesday was a safe bet.

Which was good, because on Friday Brett and I took the boys the Sesame Place.  This was a plan we had set up a month ago, because Quinn had expressed a newfound love of Elmo.  Unfortunately Quinn didn't make it to Sesame, but we made it anyway - despite some angst from Colin.

"No! We were supposed to take Quinn there."

Gotta love a principled child.  Of course, the key word in that sentence is child.  Once he found out there were water rides there, he was far more willing to put that whole 'this was supposed to be for Quinn' thing aside.

We went and had a great time - rode every ride and water ride at least one time (lazy river two times, of course).

enjoying the hotel pool

It was, however, The Weekend That Should Have Been.  The plan for Sesame came up since we were going to be in the area anyway - it was my cousin Kelly's wedding.  And, if you'll recall, Quinn was supposed to be the Flower Girl for Kelly and Steve.  It was also our first gathering since she died, and the first time we've seen most everyone outside of our immediate family since I was diagnosed.  

All in, it was a great night.  My family is - pardon my language - fucking awesome.  The boys were invited, making this wedding #2 for Colin and #1 for Reid (not so bad for 5.5 and 4!) and had a great night.  Everyone was perfectly conscientious of our situation as it may be and struck an excellent balance all evening.  And, my cousin and aunt are so incredible.  Kelly's colors were various shades of mauve, with the girls wearing black dresses.  I've known this since May.  On Saturday, the ceremony started and it struck me that they were all carrying purple flowers, Kelly included.  Then someone pointed out that all the bridesmaids' toes were painted purple.  When we entered the reception room, the linens were... purple.  As was the cake.

the beautiful bride and handsome groom... and gorgeous (purple) bouquet!
(some of) my gorgeous cousins, clutching their bouquets of purple

How ridiculously incredibly kind was that?!?!  This was Her day.  And yet she shared it with us, in memory of Quinn.  I just canNOT tell you how much that meant to us.  It was so lovely and Kelly and Steve are such an amazing couple, who are going to make such amazing parents.

Reality reared its ugly head again this morning, though.  Today was my appointment at Memorial Sloan Kettering (the cancer hospital of the northeast - and, pretty much every other year, of the country... it vies for the top spot against MD Anderson in TX).  I met with the amazing breast surgeon Dr. Kimberly Van Zee.  She was just great in every sense of the word and really made my decision on who to go with very easy.  

We also got the MRI results while we were there today - the clean MRI results.  While it did show a large amount of additional suspicious tissue in the right breast, the lymph nodes look clear which is great.  

After a very long day with Dr. Van Zee, followed by a consult with the chief of Plastics Dr. Cordeiro, we have a plan.

I will have a bilateral total mastectomy with extender placement for future implants on September 18th.  The recovery will be 6-8 weeks; chemo will (likely) begin 4 weeks post-surgery and last for 4 months, every other week.  Tamoxifen for 5-10 years following.

There were a few big disappointments (I was very much hoping to avoid transplants, but am not a candidate for either DIEP or TRAM flap reconstruction. And, however unlikely it was for us to move on it, the possibility of another Linzer baby has officially been taken off the table).  All in all, though, MSK is where I should be and we're fully confident in the decisions we've made so far.

Now there's just the little matter of executing those decisions... ;)

missing her soooooooooo much