Today we headed back to the hospital to meet the new consultant. We waited as usual but today I didn't have the nervous feeling in my tummy. I was back in fighting mode.
My breast nurse calls, I confirm my details and Chris and I head in. Mr M introduces himself, shakes our hands. "I know you don't know me," he says, "but I know everything about you and your journey. I am part of the MDT (multi disciplinary team) where we discuss your case each week. I know that you have had a pretty rough journey so far and things just keep getting worse for you." He explains that Tracy my breast nurse has advised that since the very start I had wanted a bilateral (two boobs) mastectomy then goes onto explain he is willing to listen but there are procedures that would need to be followed.
"Actually," I say. "I have done a bit of a 360 on that for now." I explain how I've researched A LOT and actually I am willing to go down the silicone route initially and see how it goes. I have already been referred to the psychologist about the risk reducing surgery but it is definitely the route I want to go down eventually. He agrees that I should have the diseased beast done first because if I hate the cosmetic result and I've chosen to remove my 'healthy' breast then I may regret it forever.
I run through my questions and he is straight to the point answering every one with complete raw honesty. He looks me in the eye permanently, I try and do the same but that always makes me feel uneasy - like I'm in some kind of non blinking staring competition! He seems blunt and at first I don't know if I love him or hate him!
I explain how I am completely 100% convinced there is something going on in my right breast. He says he gets it, my instincts have been completely correct throughout and that combined with the false 'clear' ultrasound and mammogram on the left breast, he would feel the same. I ask about an MRI. He tells me he believes it's unnecessary. Chris asks again "Can it be done just to confirm? Otherwise Leanne will always be in a constant state of panic about it."
"Yes, I'd be happy to refer you just for piece of mind."
Chris then points out that I have metal work in my wrist so can I even have an MRI anyway?! Good question. Mr H doesn't know but he'll find out. I'm told that MRI scans can usually show a false positive result so having the scan would potentially mean the operation booked for 8th February may need to be postponed.
I look at Mr H but he's picked up his mobile and appears to be texting! What the hell!? No wait, he's calling someone - the radiology team. He explains my diagnosis, that I need an MRI but I have the plate in my wrist. He asks me dates from that op. Then I hear "Great news, thanks."
Wow, this guy gets shit done!! Any other doctor would have dictated a letter, had his secretary mail it over and Id have waited a week to find out if I could even have the scan. It was at that moment I decided I really liked the guy. He also agreed to recommend me for gene testing too. Brilliant.
He lets me take away a copy of my histology report and my nurse runs me through everything from the last surgery properly. She tells me that I am completely within my rights to decide which surgeon I want to perform my mastectomy. Chris asks who she would choose and she eyeballs the door that we have come from.I tell her I want him to do it - Mr M - definitely.
I leave the hospital for the first time feeling confident. Finally we're getting somewhere.
By the time we get home the phone is ringing. It's my breast nurse - she needs to know the start date of my last period. Luckily I track my dates on the Clue app on my phone so I tell her exactly when it was - 18th January. She lets out a sigh and says she'll come back to me.
By 4pm the radiologist has called. They can fit me in on Saturday morning. That was fast!