Basically, I had to decide whether to have a mastectomy now and then go on to an anti-hormone treatment to starve out any roving cells, or to take the hormone treatment first, which might shrink Larry the Rather Large Lump, and hope that he would be slim enough for a lumpectomy, thus saving my breast.
After a long weekend of agonizing I decided to go ahead and postpone surgery while I take the drug Letrozole (Femara) for the next four to six months, when we will review the situation and see whether Larry's estrogen free diet has worked. Larry is a lobular carcinoma, the kind that don't show up on mammograms, with receptors for estrogen, which he sucks out of me to form his daily diet.
So far I have met wonderful doctors, including Dr. Angel (yes, that's her real first name) and Dr. V., both of whom I have grown to trust. Dr. V. held my hands, looked into my eyes, and told me that I would be looked after and the treatment carefully monitored for the very best results. If at any time I was worried, or the side effects of the drug proved too much for me, I could call him and get the help I needed.
Can't ask for much more than that, can you? Plus, the support staff are kind, friendly, smart, and committed.
So, then I had to break the news to Larry the Lump. There's a pain therapy that advises naming your pain, getting on first name terms with it and using that connection to discover the source of the pain and what your body needs to heal. It might sound a bit weird, but I've found it very helpful.
We've had lots of chats, Larry and I - I've spent a lot of time visualizing him shrinking, and much more time explaining that we really weren't mean to be soul mates.
So I opened up another of our little chats with the phrase: "Larry, I know you are just a bunch of
This gambit, as always, was met with a snort from Larry.
I went on: "While I have nothing against you personally, old buddy," (the doctors said he'd been around for five or six years, comfortably nesting in my left breast."We're down to the wire and it's really you or me. So, we're cutting off your food supply. From today onwards, no more tasty estrogen for you."
I received an angry screech of "F**k you! I want my dinner!"
So rude, Larry.Tsk, tsk.
And I swallowed the first of my Letrozole pills.
"Sionara, old buddy."