Personal Lumpectomy Experiences

To me, the far, far overriding concern about keeping the breast was completely eliminating the cancer and preserving my life. The literature clearly says that for certain types of tumors survival results are just as good with lumpectomy and radiation as they are with mastectomy. And so I went with lumpectomy and radiation. If there had been even a tiny bit of difference saying results are slightly better with a mastectomy, I absolutely would have gone for mastectomy without any question.

If you choose to have a lumpectomy, still you know, you're going to live a normal life, you're going to look normal. Cosmetically, it's wonderful. I just went to have a six month check-up at my radiation oncologist and, of course, the PA who did the exam, and she looked at me and she said, "And which breast did we do surgery on?" You couldn't see hardly immediately after surgery. And if in the future we do have to do surgery again and have a mastectomy as the next option, I still fully believe that had I have to make the decision again, it would still be a lumpectomy, because I look at myself in the mirror everyday and say, thank you God for sending me to the surgeon who helped me make this decision.

The operation, actually it wasn't a big thing. It was not painful at all. It was very, very little pain. You went in and was out within like four or five hours. It's just the hardest thing was for me is waking up, you know. I'm feeling, like, grogginess. That was the biggest thing. The professionals, they were really nice. I mean, they treated me really good.

 © 1999 Michigan State University
Communication Technology Laboratory