Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Prophylactic Bilateral Mastectomy Recovery: One Month Out, Part Two

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I thought I'd do a monthly summary for anyone reading who might be considering this surgery.  For those not interested in this, here's a pass: TL:DNR. This is the second of five summary posts.  The first post is here

In the meantime: For women considered at high- risk for breast cancer docs recommend multiple yearly screenings early and often.  There is also the option to take a drug called tamoxifenbut only if I was done or not interested in having children; one other side effect, along with MANY others, is a noted increase in the type of cancer my mother was recovering from. The final option was the risk- reducing surgery. My ongoing recommendations: get the screenings, 13. Get thee to an appropriate BMI.  Exercise at least 4 hours per week.


{Me last week two days following my first fill. Flat, but happy.}

Selecting doctors: I wanted to like mine, and I wanted to stay at my university hospital, ranked one of the best in the U.S.  I wanted the best because this was the hardest medical decision I've ever had to make, and because I'd never even had anesthesia before (except for getting  my wisdom teeth out -- go figure). I asked around on blogs and forums, and "interviewed" one doc whose manner was, I thought, crass and breezy.

Hospital policy wouldn't initially allow me to see his counterpart (a fact which was not explained to me beforehand--I'd actually wanted to see his counterpart in the first place, but she didn't have openings for weeks), so I straight up lied about having a religious reason for preferring a female doc. The next two docs had been described to me both from online friends and at a cancer conference as "the dream team," and I liked and appreciated their manner work (yep, I read their research-- it's what I do all day anyway...why not for my health?).

*This summary is the second in a series of five posts on the subject.  For others, use the search function to search "prophylactic bilateral mastectomy."*

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