Updated: May 7, 2020
As I was told at diagnosis – the treatment for my breast cancer would be radiation. I opted to have my radiation at the Royal Oak campus as it was closer to home. My radiologist wasn’t able to take me right away. The timing of the radiation would mean I would have to miss my daughter’s national dance competition. I had never missed a national, I didn’t want to miss this one. I asked if I could get in to see him earlier. During this time I constantly called on my Dad who passed away 5 years earlier to help me. I believe my Dad was there when I underwent my surgeries to help with the pain and I believe my Dad got me into see Dr. Chen the next day. Dr. Chen noticed my address and saw I lived 4 doors down from his parents old home. He agreed to see me.
When we went to see the doctor we were first met by his internist. He explained a new procedure which was a clinical trial. Since I was diagnosed with DCIS and had recently had surgery – I qualified for this trial. Basically, a contoura device would be implanted into the cancerous area. It looks like a balloon with four prongs that stick outside your breast. I would hooked up to a machine twice a day for two days vs. 6 weeks of daily radiation. The radiation seeds would be swept into my breast via the tubes, swished around the affected area and be brought out. My initial reaction was NO. I didn’t want anything else in my breast. I didn’t want more surgery. The thought of my breast being butchered again sent me into a tailspin. My fear was winning out in this decision. No, no and no!
The intern left and Dr. Chen came in. We discussed the neighborhood for a few minutes and then he talked about the clinical trial. My husband pipes up – Sure we’ll do it. My response: “Just a minute bubbalouie, last time I looked it was my breast he was talking about and there is no “we” in surgery”. Knowing my husband, his logic was 2 days vs. 6 weeks - that much quicker to put this all behind us. I asked more questions and got more comfortable with the procedure. Dr. Chen gave some time to ourselves. I thought about the pros and cons – pros won out (2 days and helping with a clinical trial) and I agreed to the procedure.