Wednesday, September 08, 2004
Turning the Frown Upside Down
When I went in for my lab work this morning, the nurses wanted to take a look at my cellulitis -- all four of them. We went into a side room and they agreed there was some inflammation there. They were relieved that I would be seeing my original surgeon directly following this appointment. I think it would have been interesting to keep an "examination meter" running from the beginning of this process. I'm glad everyone is so thorough, but I 've had more medical breast exams in the last few months, even the last week, than I have in my lifetime!

It was good to sit and talk with my original surgeon. When I met with the doctor at Loma Linda last Friday, Dr. G., he gave me three surgical options and stated that there was no medical reason to discount any of them. I would have to choose based on my personal concerns and the outcomes I desired. My first surgeon, Dr. S., had been very opinionated about the best choice in my situation. In fact, my medical oncologist, Dr. B., concurred with his recommendations 100 percent. So now I meet this new surgeon and he says it's my choice and any of the options are reasonable. I was beginning to doubt my original plan.

In my appointment today, Dr. S. took the time to catch up on what has been happening with me. He also examined my cellulitis and said it didn't seem to be anything to worry about at this point. His conjecture was that there could have been a remaining bacteria from the previous infection that normally would have been taken care of by my body naturally, but flared up given my compromised immune system from the chemo. We also discussed my current confusion regarding further treatment. After going over the results from my most recent tests, including the BRCA analysis, he stands by his initial recommendation. I appreciate his expertise and I appreciate his concern. As a surgeon, even a surgical oncologist, his job is to take care of the procedures (take out the trash, so to speak). He doesn't need to stay abreast of what's going on with me or even provide recommendations for procedures he won't be doing. He is a caring man who has provided excellent guidance throughout this journey. So today I am thankful. He managed to take my "annoyed" face and give me back my smile. What more do I need today?
Written by Jeannette Vagnozzi
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Name: Jeannette
Location: Southern California, USA

This is my story about being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 39. I thought I was out of the woods, but four years late it came back. This is my quest to be a two-time survivor.

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    "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12