This has been an interesting week. I had my appointment with the Rheumatologist about my autoimmune disorder today. He was soooo supportive of my decision on the mastectomy. I really think he is one of the most attentive doctors I've ever had. I waited over an hour to see him, but it was worth it! He listened, and considered, and chatted, and gave excellent explanations behind every answer he gave to my questions. I wish he was my everything doctor!
Sounds like I'm good to go on silicone. He said there was no scientific evidence to support silicone causing or having negative impact on autoimmune disorders, and his opinion is I should weigh the other pros and cons to come to a decision I'll be happy with. He's also not concerned about my condition causing poor healing or other complications.
I left that appointment feeling good about my decision again. He said at one point, "considering the huge risk you're facing, I really think you're doing the right thing" and I said "ya, I really think I may be saving my life". and He said "definitely, very well could be". I felt more confident about the surgery than I have yet!
Then the next day I went to get some lab work done, and my surgeons office called to tell me they had completed my FMLA paperwork and I could come get it. So after my blood draw I went across the street to the surgeons office and asked for my paperwork, and the receptionist said "Oh yes, this must be for you!" then she looked at it odd, and said "whats your name?" I told her, and she kind of shrugged, and "Hmm okay, ya this is it" and handed it to me.
I really wasn't prepared for what the surgeons office had written on the paperwork.
Diagnosis: Breast Cancer.
My eyes tingled a little and my throat started to close off, I turned and walked out of the office. As I started driving back to work it really hit me, somewhat fiercely.. " I DON'T have breast cancer!!!!" And I was lost again, what am I doing?? This is soooo drastic, It's a possibility I might not even get cancer! might.... maybe? small chance...
So I turned in my paperwork to my supervisor and HR, I was thinking I had already talked to them both and they didn't say anything like "OMG Amanda you have breast cancer?!?!" So I didn't even think about it until I was leaving HR and I realized I had talked to her about my autoimmune thing but I didn't think I had talked to her about my Genetic mutation.
I stopped in to see my cousin (who I work with) a couple offices down, and told her what my concern was, I don't want to mislead people into thinking I do have breast cancer, but I'm assuming this is standard for the surgeon to write for these purposes, but I felt so bad, and I didn't want anyone feeling sorry for me, thinking I had cancer. So she talked me through it (she's really great), and I turned around, went back into the HR office and pointed to the my paperwork "I need you to know, I DON'T have breast cancer, I have a genetic mutation that gives me an 84% risk of getting breast cancer, and based on family history, probably in next few years, I just don't want you thinking I have breast cancer right now" To which she responded with sympathy and compassion and asked me questions about the procedure, out of curiosity (that she quickly followed by saying I didn't have to answer, but I did). We ended by joking about how I was a little bummed that I couldn't get giant boobs out of the deal. She assured me that no one else would see the actual paperwork and I didn't have to tell anyone anything I didn't want to. She's good at that HR stuff.
I then made sure my supervisor knew as well, I DON'T have breast cancer!! He understood, and It was a relief to know he actually hadn't thought I did because as soon as he saw the paperwork, he remembered me talking to him about the gene and the risk a few weeks ago. It was nice to know that he knew I DON'T have breast cancer, but he still insisted (with some sincerity) that if there is anything I need or anything they could do to help, just to reach out. Plus, I'm much more comfortable knowing that my work knows and we're going to figure out how to cover everything while I'm gone. I had really dreaded telling them.
Those were some dark moments for me between the time I picked up that paperwork and when I went back to clarify my situation with them. But again, at the end of the day, I'm doing the right thing.
That's right - I DON'T have breast cancer, and I'm going to do what I need to in order to prevent it!
(and I'll just keep telling myself that...)