Letter to Marie

Dear Marie,

Thank you Marie for sending into the ether positive thoughts, encouraging me, sharing your journey and donating to my walk (your friend too)!


I am scheduled for a mastectomy with immediate reconstruction on May 8 at GTUH. And as the date approaches, I am rereading medical journals articles about DCIS diagnosis and treatment. And I’m not sure if I want to undergo this conventional treatment for my diagnosis; it seems radical.


My thoughts are: if I have DCIS, why is my treatment aligned with the diagnosis of invasive, Stage 1 breast cancer? What is my risk of developing invasive breast cancer? How successful are neoadjuvant therapies at decreasing mass size or removing masses altogether? What would be my short term/long term quality of life if I decide to treat DCIS as a noninvasive/a precursor to cancer by undergoing neoadjuvant treatment (with my oncologist at GT), integrative medicine (with my naturopathic doctor), and close monitoring with MRI, mammogram and core biopsy? Would I be avoiding an inevitable surgery by choosing the road less traveled? What would my insurance cover? Am I considering this as an option because I’m scared?


This is my work for the week! Many of the questions will not be quantifiable since there is not much data on individualized risk connecting noninvasive and invasive cancer nor studies on treatment of DCIS without surgery.


Following the conventional method would mean a good level of certainty, and that, in a difficult situation, provides comfort and encouragement. But there is loss and grief.


Some things are waiting on me…my dissertation, my travels, my mental space, and ME FREE OF CANCEROUS CELLS!







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