Well, I am happy to say that my husband has finally told me that we need a break from this breast cancer thing. That is good news in that he recognizes that he needs to stop obsessing about it.
I'm not so happy to say that I am triple-negative for all of the hormone receptor tests, which leaves me with an aggressive-growth, grade 3 tumor (but still not so big - a little over 1 cm) that will not respond to any of the newer hormone-related treatment plans.
I'm happy to say that I did have my second opinion, but not too happy that now I have to make my decision. I found U of M to be a polar opposite of Beaumont in some ways - more personal in some ways and less personal in others. The nursing, support, and administrative staff seemed more organized, efficient, knowledgeable and personal than Beaumont's did (but then again, I just had the test result problem at Beaumont so that is probably coloring my viewpoint), but I still think I like the Beaumont surgeons better. I think my reasoning for why I like them better is totally wrong, but still, I like them better.
I know it is totally stupid to like a breast surgeon better because she talks to me about "curing" my cancer and talking about 50 year plans. That is probably what makes me feel better about the Beaumont doctor, but I have other reasons too: 1) She is the one who explained everything to me, not a resident as at U of M (would the resident be doing my surgery?) and 2) I've heard at least 3 patients highly recommend the Beaumont doctor and 3) I've heard from at least 3 people in the medical field - other surgeons and a pathologist - that they would send their wives to Dr. Dekhne, hands down.
I know it is also totally stupid to like a plastic surgeon because he told me he would rearrange his schedule to fit my breast surgeon's schedule, but that is also my main reason for liking him. (Though I do like the pictures of his work, the fact that his staff likes him, his clean, nice office, and just his personality, too.) Right when I was concerned/miserable hearing that 1) my cancer is a more aggressive one with the whole triple negative garbage and 2) It is hard to get the U of M breast surgeon and the plastic surgeon together and so scheduling a surgery could be a while out, I got a call from Beaumont ready to schedule me with my two Beaumont doctors of choice. This was interesting because from talking to the Beaumont's breast surgeon's office on Friday I knew that I only had one shot of fitting into the breast surgeon's schedule for that particular week, so it probably meant that the plastic surgeon did do what he said he was going to do. I know I have plenty of time to schedule all of this (apparently with the growth rate of cancers I could have had this as a teeny thing for a very long time, like years, without knowing it since I'd never had a mammogram), so I guess I don't need to rush into things, but I think it just feels better to know that someone is taking this seriously. Also, I am going to have to see my plastic surgeon a lot, so I think it would be nice to have someone that I like, a cleaner, more organized office, etc. I don't know how much "like" will play into this or should, though.
I've heard good things from too many people about the Beaumont oncologist, too...and with this whole triple-negative business I'm sure I'll need a good oncologist. So that leaves 3 doctors that come very recommended but a staff situation that might be less efficient than U of M's...but at U of M I feel like I get great staff but not the same comfort level with the doctors. So I guess I've just convinced myself to go to Beaumont. Combine that with the fact that I'd have to drive so much further to go to U of M...I'd have to have been really much more impressed to offset the whole drive since it would be so many times, and I wasn't. I guess more organized means you have to fit into their schedule a bit more than people making their schedules around you.
Whew. Not the most concise or best-written blog entry, but it was a bit of a useful regurgitation of information for me. So if I do go ahead with Beaumont, my surgery will be March 18th - 2 weeks from tomorrow. I am NOT SO HAPPY about the fact that I'll never look the same after that. I know sometimes I can be so upbeat about it, and say I'd give it all away, and I'll look better, and I'll do everything, be everything, etc. Tonight though, I'm NOT AT ALL HAPPY ABOUT IT, though I won't be changing my mind.