Well, I have definitely been "off the surfboard" for a couple of days. Not in the present moment, worrying about (= , for me, getting angry about) what will happen, how it will work out, all the usual suspects.
Thanks to a few good friends with meaningful insights, compassion & patience with my bear-with-foot-in-bucket self, & the ability to let me rant, I am back on the board...
The ocean, even when choppy, looks soooo much better from up here!!
One friend asked if I'd seen the pathology report, and I said no. Then, later, I thought how could that be?! THAT is so unlike me!
I went back into research mode &, as I was reading & making notes, I remembered those phrases & myself asking the doctor "What does nuclear pleomorphism mean?" "And comedo necrosis? Necrosis means tissue death, and so...?" "What does the cribiform pattern indicate as opposed to another pattern in DCIS?"
Ok, now that's the me I know.
So, I watched a few videos of a full mastectomy...
I know, I know, but I've been in gross anatomy labs (human dissection) dozens of times, I have surgery books, & pathology books, & pictoral gross anatomy books, so it is all known territory for me. There's no "ick factor".
And, that helped. As I watched it step by step, realizing that will be me soon, I gently spoke to my breast with my intent: "That will be you. That's what will happen. It will be ok. Thank you for always being here, so beautiful & present for me all of these years. Thanks for letting me know before it got unmanageable. I love you."
And then I watched some more.
I watched films of the different types of reconstructions; I felt my body's responses to each, which gave me, actually, more pertinent information than just the cognitive knowledge.
I am feeling much more centered again.
Tomorrow I meet with medical oncology to tell them "from my own mouth" why I am choosing the path of treatment I am.
Here's a nice tidbit to bring in with me:
DCIS with lumpectomy: survival rate of 87%
With lumpectomy & radiation: 92%
With lumpectomy, radiation & Tamoxifen: 94%
With mastectomy, no radiation, or Tamoxifen: 98-99%
It's good to me.