Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBT+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

Oncology Appt. #3

This entry is part 39 of 44 in the series Breast Cancer Posts

On 16 Jan 15, I had my third check in with my Oncologist. It began like pretty much all the others have since beginning hormone suppressant therapy last April. I lingered in bed until I absolutely had to get out, then I went to the VA, had a meal, and then picked up my Leuprolide injection before going to see my Oncologist. As happened in previous check-ins, a resident saw me first. I have no idea what his name is now, mostly because what Dr. Colonna and I discussed following his initial visit with me blasted pretty much everything out of my head, and his name was apparently blasted out for good.

Well, the visit progressed as usual. Dr. Colonna came to talk with me, and since it had been about six months, she did another breast exam. She also had the resident perform one, and he was extremely thorough. While he performed his exam, she explained what to look for, commented that eventually breast density may be listed as an indicator to propensity for cancer, since denser breasts tend to get cancer more often, and basically went over things for the resident to remember in later exams. I don’t mind this at all. I like hearing what she tells them, because it’s just as informative for me as it is for them, even if she repeats things—after six or so months, I kind of need to hear it all again anyway. LOL

After she gave me a briefer exam, they let me put my top clothes back on and Dr. Colonna and I discussed my treatment. This time, she was able to explain that there’s research backing up her prescriptions of Anastrozole and Leuprolide with me, as opposed to something like Tamoxifen. Basically, it’s advised to prescribe these medications based on the “scariness” of the cancer—whether it was hormone receptive and spread to lymph nodes. Since my cancer had done both things, Dr. Colonna essentially pulled out what might be termed as “the Big Guns” with regards to my hormone suppressant therapy. The medications I’m on are much better at suppressing hormones than Tamoxifen is.

After that, Dr. Colonna went on to explain that she’d been considering what further treatments she could give for my cancer. According to her, she has concerns about the possibility of a recurrence of cancer, so she suggested she could see about having me meet with Dr. Rose at the Women’s Clinic to see about having a partial or full hysterectomy done. She suggested this now because she was testing how well I’d do on hormone suppressant therapy, and I’m apparently doing well (no emotional breakdowns, no craziness) before she considered offering a hysterectomy. Needless to say, I was excited to hear this, though my Oncologist made it clear she was willing to arrange this primarily as part of my cancer treatment only. I of course agreed to this.

Then, surprising me even more, my Oncologist suggested she has concerns about my breasts—even with the hysterectomy. Apparently, there is some possibility I may develop cancer again, even if there aren’t any hormones fueling the disease. Dr. Colonna discussed the fact she’d be happy to see about arranging for me to have a double-mastectomy—by Dr. Savarise, who did my lumpectomy—if I agreed to it. Of course, I was all for this, and not just because I’m trans and want rid of my breasts for that reason alone. One of my biggest fears is a relapse of the cancer, no matter what we do to prevent it, and having a double-mast would ease my fears a great deal.

After that appointment, I practically floated home. The following week, the Women’s Clinic called to make my appointment with Dr. Rose; I’m to see her on the second of March.

*Note: I may not post to this blog on Tues and Fri of the first week of February (1-7) as I have been summoned to Jury duty and may have to go in at some point that week; I won’t know if I’m going in until the evening of the weekday before. If I am able to post, Yay! If not, I’ll be back to it the following week. Unless I’m required to attend a trial as a juror; if that happens, I’ll make an announcement to that effect and guesstimate a time frame my blog will be on hiatus.

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1 Comment

  1. Wow, what great news! (And yes, it feels weird to say that the recommendation of two major surgeries is great news, but since I know they’re both things you wanted, this does work very well.)

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