Thursday, September 24, 2009

Loaded Question

Last night, Dr. Raja called.  He asked me if I'd spoken to Dr. Blair yet, (the oncologist) and I said no, he hadn't returned my call.  He said that he had called him, and surprise!  he actually got through.  Dr. Blair felt, after seeing my MRI results,  that chemo before surgery wasn't right for me.  If the other areas in question are cancerous, it won't help to shrink them down ahead of time - lumpectomy won't be possible.

Dr. Raja said he'd set me up for the MRI-guided core biopsy already - Monday at 7:00 am.  (7:00 freaking a.m?  Really?)   Whatever the results showed, it would be time to schedule surgery.  If the other suspicious areas are not cancer - lumpectomy.  If there is cancer in the other area - mastectomy.

He asked if I was fine with that.

How is that for a loaded question?  It's like asking,  "Have you stopped beating your wife?"

Am I fine with it?  Absolutely not.  I'm not "fine" with any of it.

Will I do it?

I have no choice. 

Just like I knew  I had cancer once I was turned away from the regular mammogram, now I'm thinking this is not going to turn out any way but me losing my breast.  And, that is a two to three week recovery period, possibly more due to the reconstruction. Chemo will start one month after surgery, and that is a four to six month process. 

So, I contacted our HR analyst today.  No point putting it off anymore.  I explained what's going on and asked to know what my options are.  We set up a meeting on Monday after my testing (forgetting how much I bled last time, maybe I was hasty.)

One pleasant surprise - our district gives you a 90 day extended leave - with pay - for a serious illness.  And, it can be taken intermittently, so if I have a bad week with chemo and then a good one, I can still use it. (Although, that is going to be hard on my coworkers).  That is in addition to the FMLA, which is three months off, no pay.    I also have about 25 days of sick leave and I donated to the catastrophic leave bank, so people can donate time to me if necessary.  So, I should be able to recover and go through chemo without losing much, if any, money.  And, I'm in no danger of losing my job.

That's something, anyway.

1 comment:

  1. That is the grim part of cancer. You're not fine with any of it, but you don't have any choice but to learn to become okay with it. It amazes me what I have become okay with in this past year.


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