It’s a strange feeling. To be so relieved about something yet worried that maybe another option should have been considered.
I woke up groggy and dry mouthed, my mum and sister’s friend (Nice) hovering over me. I’d hardly opened my eyes when I heard Nice exclaim, “Letitia, you still have your breasts!”
I consider myself very lucky. After the swelling had gone down from the second surgery, one can hardly tell that I’m a breast cancer survivor. No, I’m not posting any boob selfies. You may have to wait for my phone to get stolen – I’m sure the thief will leak them, they’re quite a number.
So this what happened. It appeared that most of the cancerous tumor had been removed at the first operation. And after I’d started hormonal therapy (a life saving pill, called Tamoxifen, that is now my daily ritual), any possible growth that could have occurred was hindered. Therefore, when Professor Wasike and his team ‘dug’ in, there wasn’t much to remove hence not necessitating the mastectomy that I’d been dreading. Better still, lymph node samples were removed from my armpit on the right side and the tests showed that there was no spread. The surgery was a big success!
Sometimes I read up on recurrence rates and I can’t help but wonder if I shouldn’t have just gone with the double mastectomy route, you know, like Angelina Jolie. But my doctors tell me there would have been no basis for that, that I should count myself lucky: It was caught early and it hadn’t spread. I should count my blessings and live better.
And so I did, and still do to this day.