Enlightenment and Some Anxiety

New Member

Enlightenment and Some Anxiety

Hi all! 
I’m new to the community,  but not new to cancer. I was diagnosed with breast cancer and started chemo just five days before my 34th birthday this year in May. 

It all started when I complained of a lump to my mum who luckily is a GP- she then booked me in for an ultrasound. I still remember that morning as clear as day, my sonographer got quiet and got the doctor and they looked at the ultrasound, he then said we might need to get your GP’s referral for a biopsy and a mammogram. I said my GP came with me and pointed to my mum. In a matter of minutes, they exchanged conversation and I was moved from ultrasound straight to mammogram and then to biopsy. Two days later we found the results and the rest, as they say is history… 

Just recently  had my third lot of surgery (will explain further): 

- I had two rounds of chemo first;  had my first surgery on the 23rd October - took two weeks off to recover. 
- My MDT meets   every fortnight on a Thursday and sadly I had to return to that operating table three times every fortnight from 23rd October to last week Monday 27th November. 

-first surgery was to get the lump on the left side of my breast and lymph nodes from left side as well. (No cancer cells found on the 3 lymph nodes taken) . 
- second surgery was for the margins for the said lump. 
- third and most recent surgery was for more lymph nodes (2 taken and 1 came positive for cancer while the other did not). 
- Now  this week,  I met with my breast surgeon and my radiotherapy oncologist. Both have told me that generally if cancer is found in lymph nodes they do a clearance. Which really means another round of surgery for me (that would make it 4). To be perfectly honest, I 
really don’t want to return for a fourth time, but I’m on the fence since I don’t want it returning. But also don’t want to have a high risk of lymphedema. 
- the choice this time is mine, there’s no getting a call on Thursday telling me to return to the surgery table on a Monday. But in saying that I’m questioning if I’m doing the right thing by not going with it. 


I’ll still go through with radiation (as planned) but hopefully add hormone therapy too. But I’m tired and I don’t want to go through surgery again. 

I just want to hear from you- my oncologist said that Northshore is doing something different and there’s a few recent studies that they’re doing radiation instead of lymph node clearance, but again studies are only 15 years old. So, yeah I’m on the offence. I’m leaning towards not doing surgery for the 4th time but just doing radiation. But, can also understand that the surgery is being encouraged because of my age.


but I’m thinking wouldn’t radiation just get it anyway? 
what do you think? I’ve chosen to not do surgery, but curious to know opinions and to be enabled and reassured but to also be somewhat challenged as well. 

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