Our appointment today, with Dr. K, the specialized breast surgeon at Advocate Christ Medical Center, went really well.
I was more impressed than I expected to be, after being wowed by Dr. J at the University of Chicago Medical Center yesterday.
Dr. K assured us that it is really, really, really unlikely that once removed and pathology looks at it, that my tumor will turn out to be malignant.
We are very encouraged to know that.
She indicated that it’s size, approximately 1.7 cm, is also a factor that leads her to believe it is benign.
Dr. K explained that they work closely with pathology during surgery and thus they will do their best to assure they get the margin they need to remove any related tissue, in effort to prevent recurrence.
We didn’t learn much in the way of new information today, as Dr. J and her staff had covered it well yesterday. That said, Dr. K was thorough and we don’t doubt her knowledge of or experience with phyllodes tumors.
At one point Dr. K said, phyllodes tumors are supposed to be very rare, but they see them fairly often. She indicated that her last surgery to remove one was only two weeks ago.
I don’t think we can make a bad or wrong choice, as far as which surgeon and medical center to work with.
Their approaches are very similar and they would handle the surgery, to remove what they suspect is a benign phyllodes tumor, essentially the same way.
Dr. K offered to schedule my surgery for Monday, March 21st.
We took the appointment.
Bob and I will continue to review the information we have, medical records, and notes I’ve taken. We will discuss more the pros and the pros of going with each option. We truly don’t see many, if any, cons with either choice.
And if something comes to light to make us lean towards working with Dr. J, we will contact her to schedule the surgery and cancel the one we have planned with Dr. K.
However, at this time, we feel good about our tentative decision to go with Dr. K.
We don’t regret getting a second opinion, for the first time in our lives.
It has been a positive, though stressful (knowing there is a choice we have to make) at times, experience.
We feel empowered for having sought out both expert opinions.
I think we understand, as much as we possibly can at this point, what my diagnosis and prognosis is.
We believe that we will be in great hands and receive wonderful care with Dr. K, as we would with Dr. J.
And the fact that Dr. K is more convenient/local, is certainly a factor in her favor.
But we wouldn’t hesitate to go with Dr. J, if we felt she was significantly more qualified to help us through this.
Truly, this is a good problem to have.
To be blessed to live in a place where we have choices…
To be lucky to live somewhere that has many amazing hospitals, doctors, and medical staff who can treat and care for us…
So, as things stand now, life will go on, as planned in the coming weeks, including our first Caribbean cruise in mid-March.
And then the day after Palm Sunday (for Christians/those who observe Holy Week), I will have surgery.
As a Christian/catholic, I actually appreciate the idea that if I must experience some suffering in the near future, that it will happen during our Holy Week.
As if there was ever a time for me to do so, it seems appropriate. I think it can help me to enter into what Jesus went through in a minor and real way.
This is far from what I expected going into my first baseline mammogram last month. Both surgeons and their staff joked with us about that yesterday and today.
However, as with every challenge and trial in life, I try to make the best of it and share with others, so if and when they or a loved one experience something similar, they know they are not alone.
Please continue to send your positive thoughts and prayers our way.
We aren’t out of the woods yet, but see the light and feel peace with the path we are on.