Find out more about Deb.  Home  |  Deb's Story  |  Web Resources  |  Books & Magazines 
 Newsletters  |  Articles & Essays  |  Contact  |  Help is the outcome of Deb's breast cancer experience - an ever evolving website with information, helpful links, and Deb's personal story. Come on in and visit!  
Click here to view the galleries

Search this site using keywords:

Email Diary

January 15, 2000 - Choosing (and Rejecting) Physicians

Thanks for keeping in touch and for caring what's happening!

My 2nd opinion appointment on Tuesday went well - he agrees I do need a mastectomy, but says reconstruction might need to wait depending on whether the chest muscles were involved or not. Set me up for a CAT scan, bone scan and chest x-ray to insure there's no cancer elsewhere in my body. Confirmed that the chemo will probably throw me into menopause (hooray!!!!) and that I will probably lose my hair (bald is beautiful, right?).

Thursday I saw the plastic surgeon - his record is impressive - does about 4 reconstructions every 10 days. That means he's very experienced, but isn't it sad that so many women need them? He did not tell me anything that I had not already discovered through research except that the reason they use part of the rectus abdominus muscle with the TRAM flap is for the blood supply to the flap to keep it alive and healthy. The reconstruction surgery will put me in the hospital for about four days and keep me pretty inactive for about two months.

Friday was hospital day. First of all I saw the surgeon who did the biopsy. I will not be using him for further surgery as he really couldn't answer some of my questions, seemed surprised at all the questions I had, and hadn't really thought about the possibility of delaying the recon because of the location of the cancer. He did say that now that he thought about it, it was probably a good idea. Don't think I want him doing any further surgery!!

Had to drink 24 oz. of contrast fluid (sort of orangey, chalky flavored) before 12:30. Then off to Florida Hospital for tests. First the interminable paper work. Next an IV site placement and an injection of mildly radioactive fluid for the bone scan. Third, a chest x-ray. After that, drink another large glass of contrast fluid, then hop on the table for the CAT scan of abdomen and pelvis. No pain in all of this except when they injected still more contrast fluid into the IV - that burned like crazy for about two minutes! Then wait some more and finally at 5 PM, the bone scan. That was painless, too, except I had to lie completely still for about 20 minutes - my muscles kept jumping!

On Monday I see a radiation oncologist and on Friday a chemo oncologist.

Hopefully, during the week I'll have my second appointment with the surgeon so that I can get surgery scheduled. I have decided to not do the reconstruction until after the chemo regimen is completed - probably a year from now. I hope to have the mastectomy sometime the week of the 24th of January. The recovery time from the mastectomy is about two-four weeks.

I won't be able to go to the NSA Western Workshop this year, but should, if all things go well, make the Eastern. Had a speech I had to back out of, but one of my NSA buddies is perfectly equipped to step in, so the client was happy. One of my other bestest NSA buddies is taking over my session host chair responsibilities at Western.

So how do I feel? Absolutely outstandingly excellent! I just happen to have breast cancer and need surgery, but otherwise I'm great and planning forward. Thanks to all of the love and prayers and good wishes I've received, I am feeling no anxiety about this and know that all will turn out for good. Of course, a couple of my "friends" :-) have remarked that some speakers will do anything for a good speech!!!

Please continue to treat me "normally" (whatever that is!) and don't tip toe around my feelings. I don't mind talking about it and, in fact, think the message should get out about breast cancer so more are aware of it and how it can be caught early and sometimes prevented. Please, please - all of you women make sure you're getting a mammogram every year! Men - make sure your wives and daughters do. Secondly, if you're still using stamps instead of a postage meter, go to the post office and invest in the Breast Cancer stamps - they're $.40 instead of $.33, but the additional seven cents goes entirely to breast cancer research.

Keep in touch - the good words keep me positive. Call anytime, you know I love to talk!! Hugs!


Return to the top of this email.
Return to the previous email.
Go to the next email.
Go to the list of emails.

© 2007 Deb Haggerty [ logo by iid ] [ site by blukid ]
Sometimes the urge to do something overwhelmingly fun and unexpected just seizes hold of Deb. Here she is at a party, planting a kiss on the cheek of surprised waiter who had complimented her just seconds before. This is Deb with Bonnie Ross Parker. Deb and Bonnie originally met online and quickly became good friends. She an example of the people, all over the country, who took on breast cancer walks and supported Deb in many ways. This is Deb with two good friends, Eva Marie Everson and Linda Evans Shepherd.