I got a tattoo today.
Actually, I got three of them.
Three dots....that's all.
And I will never, ever, ever, ever get another tattoo for as long as I live. "OUCH!"
The dots, which are literally the size of a pen mark, are so that the technicians place the radiation machine in the exact same spot each time they zap me. Wouldn't want them radiating my heart or anything---and they will be close to my heart (a concern).
So anyway, we met with Dr. Vic today, the radiation oncologist. He was very detailed and thorough in his explanation, but whether or not radiation would be beneficial to me comes down to "We don't know." I should have my husband write this blog for an accurate medical explanation, but basically, there's not enough large studies to say for sure if someone in my situation (age, type of cancer, placement of tumor, etc) would benefit or not. But the one thing that he could tell me is that given all my stats, there's a 20% chance of the cancer reoccurring (in the next ten years maybe), another study said a 10% chance. Having the radiation knocks it down to 5%.
Apparently there was some abnormality in one of the intermammary node on one of my scans that was a concern. They can't biopsy it (unless they break my breast bone) to determine if it was cancer, and it could just be nothing...but it could be something malignant. For that main reason (I think), Dr. Vic thinks radiation would be a good option for me (despite the fact that most women who have mastectomies don't need radiation).
I was told it was up to me. Ugh. A choice. I don't like choices, usually. I want someone to tell me what to do and I'll do it. I always fear that I'll make the wrong choice. And if I make the wrong choice...well, it could be fatal actually.
When I was diagnosed with cancer, I had three goals to guide me through this. 1. Get rid of all the cancer. 2. Do whatever I had to do to stop it from reoccurring. 3. Get myself looking normal again..or better of course!
So I opted to go ahead and have the radiation. I don't want to...I don't want to at all! I just want to have all of this done and move on. But I feel like I have to. Because I will always worry if I didn't, that the cancer will come back. And if it did, oh would I be furious at myself.
Now I just have to pray that the radiation does its job and the side effects are minimal. (More about side effects in a later post).