Oh, Sherry...I hope you can feel my arms wrapping around you now....My diagnosis at age 30 hit me like a ton of bricks. I got the diagnosis when I did the biopsy and had to wait a full 8 days for the path report. Path report in hand, I was empowered. I knew the details, and devised the plan. I needed more surgery, as the lumpectomy got all of it except 1 margin that was 'close'. I had to decide also on mast vs lump, and full node dissection or sentinel node bx. At that time, the SNB was quite new and not as widely used.
I saw the onc and rad onc to get their opinions on plans, then got some tests for staging (bone scan, chest xray, etc) and took all of them to the cancer center at Univ of Michigan to get a 2nd opinion at their clinic. They confirmed what all the other docs said, but supported the SNB (first surgeon was not in favor of it for me). I took a couple weeks then to make a decision...so in all, a month passed from point A to B.
Please ask the surgeon what time frame you have. Usually with breast cancer there is a little time to research and make decisions. Not everyone agrees, but I got great information from Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book. I read whatever I could related to my situation, and it helped me ask the right questions and understand the answers. I made lists of questions and took a tape recorder and a friend to my appointments. The recorder was invaluable, and it is my #1 suggestion. My #1 1/2 suggestion is a second opinion. You are being faced with some major decisions right now, and you want as much information as possible.
I had the 2nd lumpectomy and am lopsided, but I did not care that much. In clothes, you can hardly tell. Bra shopping is tough, but I got some that work. If you are not sure, I recommend going with the least amount of surgery...you can change your mind and get a mast, but you cannot change your mind once you do get a mast. If you are sure, go for it and don't look back. Lots of the gals here had a mast or a bilateral mast and they do not regret it at all...just the key is to be sure in your decisions.
For me, information was power. I needed it to take control. You will figure out what you need to cope and be empowered, we all are a little different.
And SHerry, many of us here are several years out. It can happen to you too! You are entering a whirlwind right now, but there is another side. Chemo and rads are very do-able, and we'll walk you through when the time comes.
Hang in there hon!