I almost cried when as I walked out of my surgeons office – likely for the last time. Thursday I had a follow up appointment with my breast surgeon. When she walked in the room she was excited to see me. She was also excited to show her intern her handy work. She is very happy with how well my breasts turned out – with her only comment being that she wished the scars were completely invisible (they are barely noticeable now). She tried to go and get the plastic surgeon to show her – as my plastic surgeon was also in clinic that day – but alas, she was busy so didn’t manage to pop by. She did get a picture for my file.
On December 17, it will be five years since my big cancer surgery. It is hard to believe. After a quick exam and conversation about my future plans, she said that “she saw no reason why I would need to see a breast surgeon”. With that I was given the all clear from her perspective. Return if I have a worrying symptom, keep follow ups with my medical oncologist – but otherwise, as far as she is concerned I’m doing fine and I no longer need follow ups from her.
This is a significant milestone. I have “graduated” to no more appointments with my breast surgeon. I still see my medical oncologist every 20 weeks as I’m still doing lupron shots as partial hormone therapy.
And so, I felt tears starting to come near the end of the appointment. I want to reach out and give her a hug – and say a hopeful goodbye. I did not, but I should have. Her kindness at times when I needed it most has been a gift. She came to my rescue when things were not going well in the hospital. I have many memories of her holding my hands and telling me I am OK as I cry with relief that what I thought might be something isn’t. I here her voice telling me she had written NED (no evidence of disease) in my chart when I needed to hear it again and again.
This is perhaps one of the happiest goodbyes I’ve had. She is a such a wonderful doctor, and I hope I never have to see her again!