I knew I shouldn't have checked email that late last night. I could have just gone to bed, but no.
Instead, I opened an email from my aunt. In it was the news that my mom was going to have a double mastectomy in February. Just about 2 weeks from now.
I knew it was a possibility. Mom and I had talked about it some. She'd had the lumpectomy done late last year. The results suggested the possibility of a precursor to breast cancer. At least, that's the way we understood it. A 2 mm something or other. Non invasive. That was good news. However, when the 64 slides were examined, they found traces of LCIS and DCIS. Was it one or the other? Both? We weren't exactly clear on that. Nevertheless, she was scheduled for 3 weeks of radiation therapy. As a kind of 'preventive' treatment. Or so we thought. Then, 3rd day into treatment, they send her home. Why?? It was scary, not knowing. It was explained that the pathologist in Saint John read the slides differently that Fredericton. Only thing is, they didn't get them until she had already started treatment. What is wrong with that picture??
Suddenly we were in a state of confusion. Again. Just after we had reconciled ourselves for her 3 week stay for treatment. This would be the ticket, the cure, the 'just in case'. So back to the doctors.
After careful consideration, it was decided, partly due to family history (other kinds of cancer), and to the findings, that a simple double mastectomy would be best. Mom felt that due to her age (over 65) that she would rather have it done and over with now, than find out 5 years later that the other would have to come off too. She wants peace, not to live in fear of every mammogram of 'inconclusive' findings again, or worse, cancer itself, the invasive kind.
So here we are. After speaking at length with her this morning, and going over a copy of the pathologist's report, navigating all those big words, we were in agreement. Not that we want to do this at all, the Lord knows I'd rather she didn't have to go through any surgery, as she's not real tolerant of anesthesia or drugs of any kind. But the alternative is unthinkable.
So we go on with what peace we can with this decision. I never thought it would come to this, or happen in my family. Others perhaps, but not mine...
Isn't that the way it always is, though.