Monday, April 20, 2009

Meeting with the surgeon

I just got back from my first meeting with the surgeon. I never know what to expect going into an appointment with a doctor you have no idea about. With the insurance I have, not too many doctors take it. I think my oncologist had to search for one for a while. That in itself left me feeling unsettled because I dont want to have to "settle" for a doctor- especially a surgeon. First of all, this guy looks just like groucho marks-he even has hair pouring out of his ears. He just kept talking and talking and wouldnt let me get a word in. He kept throwing in all these different scenarios that had nothing to do with my situation-like if I was 60, or if the genetic test was positive or if I was a stage 1 or 2. I was starting to get impatient because I just wanted to talk about MY situation and what MY options were. He talked about the option of doing a double masectomy and I told him that I would prefer to do that because I dont want to deal with this again-and he just kept talking about why it would be good and why it wouldnt and maybe I would prefer to wait a few years and then do it and yada yada yada. I left his office with a tentative surgery date of early June and a huge pit in my stomach. Now what do I do? Do I take it into my hands and find my own surgeon? I asked my oncologist if he knew the surgeon and he said yes he knew him and liked him. I trust my doctor and trust what he says, but im just not sure about this one. I want to do reconstruction also and the surgeon I saw in Utah had said that I could do it at the same time as the masectomy. This doctor is saying that he wouldnt recommend it-that he would wait until after im through with radiation. That would mean that I would have to go back for 2 or 3 more surgerys instead of just one more. There are pros and cons for doing it both ways. The pro of doing it after radiation would be that I could use my own tissue instead of using an implant. That also means a little tummy tuck because they would use the tissue from my stomach, but the con is that I wont have any boobs for like 6 months. Thats awesome-no boobs and no hair-what a woman I will be. I really dont know what to do. I would love to hear any advice or anything that any of you reading this can offer. I know that im not the only one who is or who has faced these same questions.
Anywho...thats where I am right now. I feel good right now and I am going to enjoy the remaining week and a half. I am so behind on laundry and cleaning and organizing and all that jazz-but all I want to do is go out to lunch and hang out! I will be sooo excited to be done with this chemo and stop living in 3 week incriments. My last treatment will be May 20th. Thats not too far away. Have a great day!!!


The Heiner's said...

If you have ANY doubt, I mean any! I would find a new surgeon that you are comfortable with. Especially if you can't get a word in edge wise with this guy. Sounds like no bedside manner to me and he's just getting you out of there as quick as possible. I must say I did get a new doctor for my blood disorder and my kidney failure after my last birth. He was rude and didn't help my situation at all ( he actually told my mom to start planning for my funeral). He was outta there! :) So please, we have women's insticts for a reason. Go with it. By the way, without hair AND boobs! You are still a woman! And beautiful at that! :)
Another thing. I just found out that I know your really good friend Amy Goodman! Were in the same ward. Just love her! Ok. I've talked enough.
Praying for you always,

Jan Beutler said...

Hi Shelly,

You don't know me, but I am a friend of Miki Barton's. She told me about you and I want you to know that I just went through the same thing you are going through. Well, I can't say exactly the same thing, because I didn't have to have I can't relate to that, but I can relate to everything else. I just had my 4th surgery and I am only one more away from finishing my reconstruction from my double mastectomy.
Seriously, I feel great! I read what you said about your surgeon and I totally think you need a 2nd opinion. Because you have to feel good about the person who is doing the surgery!
Miki said that she gave you my number to call me. Please call me! I would love to talk to you and see if I can help you through this! Don't think you have to go through this looks like you have a ton of friends and you are very loved! But since I have just done this...I hope I can help you out in some way!
Please call me, 435-714-1655 and my name is Jan Beutler.
You are amazing and you have a very positive attitude and that my friend...will get you through anything!!!
Hope to hear from you soon!

Gedicks Family said...

You Don't know me, I found your blog through another blog. I have no idea what your going through myself. Nor have I had anyone close to me go through this. I just wanted to say that if I ever have to endure such a trial I pray that I can do it with your amazing attitude. You are an inspiration to a stranger!

Mike and Deb said...

Shell, you need to get a second oppinion. If you have reservations then that is a red flad and if I've learned anything in all of the medical situations and surgeries that I have had in the last several years it is that you have to take your health into your own hands and not just let it happen if you know what I mean. I would look around yourself and see what other surgeon's say. You need to be able to feel like your doctor is looking only at your scenario and what YOUR options are for you and not just making you a cookie cutter diagnosis. I will ask around with clients and friends and see if they know of a good surgeon, ok?

melissa said...

I don't have any advice for you shelly but i just have to tell you how amazing you are! I think about you all the time and check your blog for updates. You have come so far! I am happy for you and you family to finally see a little bit of light at the end of this tunnell... May 20th will be a day to celebrate!! (well maybe a few days later when you feel better)

NJ said...

Girly, GO WITH YOUR GUT! If you left with a huge pit in your stomach, as a nurse I would tell you to get a second opinion. As a friend of Annie's, I would tell you that even a 3rd opinion wouldn't be a bad idea.

Hughes said...


Hey, it's Craig Hughes from the Traverse Moutain 6th Ward. You absolutely need to go and get a second opinion. I work with plastic surgeons here in SLC that use our allograft tissue for post-mastectomy breast recon. You can absolutely have the mastectomy & recon done during the same surgery (given certain parameters). I can get ahold of one of the reps for my company that's down in the Phoenix area to get some good recommendations for surgeons. I'm more than happy to help in anyway I can, so email me if you want, Keep fighting, you're gonna get through all this. Take care...