• Terra Lynn

Whirlwind



The next few weeks were a whirlwind of emotions, phone calls, conversations and doctor's appointments. I had ultrasounds on my other organs, x-rays on my chest, MRI of my breasts. I knew what the doctor's knew, that I had Metastatic Breast cancer. They did not know what stage it was or where it all was, because I was pregnant they could not do the same tests as they could on others. I met with the radiologist to go over my scans, I met with a general surgeon to discuss a mastectomy, I met with a plastic surgeon to see if I wanted to do reconstruction. I was referred to the high risk pregnancy specialist that flies in from Sioux Falls, SD once a week to Rapid City, SD.


The radiologist was unable to tell me much about my scans, besides the size of the tumor in the lymph nodes in my armpit. After all the scans they still could not find the cancer in my breasts. They said it was hard to find them in women my age, let alone a pregnant women. I was so lost, I was going off what my Navigator was telling me was the next step. I did not know what to do. I was wondering when I was gonna meet with an Oncologist to see what the situation was, what my options were or what. I met with my general surgeon, Dr. Kenney. He explained to me that because I was pregnant the Oncologists would not see me or treat me until I was no longer pregnant. He said he would do the mastectomy first but I needed to know that I may have to make the decision to terminate my pregnancy. I explained to him that it was not an option for me. I have been waiting for this little girl for a long time. He had mentioned that women who are pregnant can have chemo in the 3rd trimester, but I was not that far along and they did not have the means to treat pregnant women with cancer here in Rapid City. So we decided to schedule the mastectomy. He said they would only take my left breast, and I was good with that. I was totally find getting rid of Blanch, that is what I named her. That bitch was trying to kill me, so she has got to go!


My mom was with me the entire time, each appointment up to this point. My mom is a tough chick like me, she doesn't cry. She doesn't show a lot of emotion. When Dr. Kenney left the room to go get my plastic surgeon, my mom lost it! It was awkward because I can remember seeing my mom cry two other times. At each of my Grandparents funeral. I did not cry that day. I am not sure if I was trying to be strong for my family or if my Zoloft script was just enough to keep me calm and collect. It was probably a combination of both. I think it was really hard for me to accept. Like it hadn't hit me. I was more worried about what I needed to do next and how to get me and my baby girl through all of this. I figured crying was not going to make the cancer go away. It was not gonna make me feel better, or make my family feel better. I had to suck it up.


After finding out I had breast cancer I told myself I was fine with losing both or one of my boobs. If it could save my life, go ahead and take them. I pep-talked mysef into knowing I could lose both and I would not be able to breast feed my baby girl. Then the plastic surgeon came in. He told me my options as far as reconstruction go. He said he could put this spacer in place of where my breast was to hold the spot for an implant later. He was really calming and did a really good job at explaining the process. In a matter of minutes I went from not caring about having any boobs to wanting to try this spacer, air balloon thingy. It was a decision I am glad I made.


A week or so later my Navigator called me to check on how things were going. I explained that I had the mastectomy scheduled and after the pathology report came in, we would be able to determine the next steps. She said I needed to consider terminating my pregnancy. I told her, as I told Dr, Kenney, it was not an option. She said I needed to think about my other children. If I did not terminated my pregnancy I might not be around for them in the long run and I needed to think about it. I still told her that it was not an option, there had to be a way for us both to make it out of this. She really pissed me off. Maybe she is use to talking to patients that way. To me she seemed cold hearted and was not sensitive or comfort ing at all. I mean, maybe that is not part of her job. She gets paid to tell people how it is. Either way I started to realize she was not on my team (Team Terra) and I needed to start educating myself and doing research on what my options were.

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