Hi and Welcome Jan,
I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis of BC but glad you found us here. This group will provide you with a wealth of information and support in what you have ahead of you. First let me tell you a little about the forum; check out the roll call at the top of the listing of threads, it gives you background info, ages and such of the members. Also, the gang here has a PCE (Pink Cloud Express) that is used to 'round up all the members' and spiritually be with one another in our time of need. Since we can't actually be with everyone in person we are there in spirit and usually we wear pink feather boa's for fun and silliness.
Now onto your diagnosis. Were you told the size and type of your tumor? That may have some bearing on the type of surgery or treatment you receive. Everyone is different in the way they decide what is best for them. Personally I wanted my "alien breast" removed as soon as I heard the diagnosis. In two days I changed my mind and had just a partial mast. thinking the rest could be removed later if there were unclear margins of tissue removed. Now I'm having just radiation treatments and will be on the standard 5 years of tamoxifen. But I've heard lots of women here talk about having bi-lateral (both) breasts removed and having immediate reconstruction done. I knew nothing abuot that prior to surgery and wish now I had, and think I would have strongly considered it. But we're all different in what works for us.
Have you gotten any books to read on the subject? One I would recommend is Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book. It is very informative in all aspects of breast health with a high concentration on breast cancer. She outlines each type of BC and all treatment options. I found that getting information therapeutic in that in kept me busy and also made me feel in control. The loss of control is one of the hardest things to deal with in many illnesses, as I'm sure you know from all that you've had to deal with. You will need a solid team to manage your different illnesses together, do you have a good network or clinic nearby where you can have the cardiologist, oncologist, surgeon and arthritis specialist all work togehter?
I'm very tired now and need to sign off but want you to know that I'm sure many others will come around and post their experiences and advice soon. We just hate having new members here, where is the cure we need to stop the growth of our group?
Please let us know where you are, there may be other members close by who can give you first hand advice on good care near you. And it is so nice to have a "breast friend" (that's what we call each other) nearby.
With loving hugs and prayers for you Jan,
Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together.
-Vesta M. Kelly