Momentary Delay In Instrument Training - a brush with male breast cancer


Thursday, April 29, 2004 4:29 PM

Y'all feel like an 'extended family', so I thought I'd share with you something I just found out from my specialist, just a few hours ago..
I may not be able to get any instrument training 'in' during the last part of the month of May. Anyway, I had outpatient surgery on Monday, to remove some tissue from my left breast because of a suspected benign growth which was causing bleeding from my left
nipple. Well, I had the outpatient surgery on Monday and went in today (Wednesday) to have the bandages removed.

To cut to the chase, the specialist told me (about 3 hours ago) that the pathologist had found something that none of us were expecting. The excised tissue sample showed the presence of an early stage of cancer called, ductal carcinoma in situ. The GOOD news about it is that the 'in situ' means that it is strictly a non-invasive localized cancer that will only reside in the breast tissue and surrounding fatty tissue in the breast. So,,, if a guy has to have something so rare as breast cancer, the one I have is apparently the 'cancer of choice', since it is localized and is generally, non-invasive. Anyway, it is recommended that I get a mastectomy (now that's something I never thought I'd hear a doctor say to me) which in a male, won't be a whole lot of tissue and the muscle will be left alone - just the nipple, breast tissue and any surrounding fat tissue in the left breast. The aesthetic part of the surgery doesn't really bother me much,,, just do what ya gotta do, is what I told the specialist. Surgery is tentatively scheduled for May 17th.

I'm going to make use of my AOPA (Airplane Owners and Pilots Association) membership and find out what sort of paperwork I will have to do to to recertify my aviation medical certificate with the AME (Aviation Medical Examiner), as well as anticipate any possible hurdles/obstacles that will need to be addressed.

So, I've already spoken to my instrument flight instructor and told him that the rest of May is uncertain, but that I suspect that June will be okay. Yeah, it will set me back as far as progress but I have to attend to this 'situation' and get it taken care of and behind me.

I'm going to take it easy this week. All considered I truly have an awful lot to be grateful for and in my heart-of-hearts, I know that.

Take care everybody and thanks for 'lending an ear'!

And guys,,, though male breast cancer is rare, if you have odd symptoms from your breast, don't wait.   My breast cancer was caught VERY early, though I almost let-it-go, assuming it was something benign until I had the biopsy done (then I realized how lucky I had been by not delaying, further).

*********************************  UPDATE **************************************

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Thought I should let ya know that I am still 'alive and kicking' after my surgery on Monday.
I had the simple mastectomy on Monday and was released on Tuesday, morning. This Saturday, I had the drain tubes and bandaging removed (still keeping the surgical staples for just a little while longer). Just wanted to let ya know that my surgeon (who was apparently visiting his office for a couple of hours this Sunday, morning) saw the biopsy report on his fax machine and immediately called me. Great news ! The very early 'in situ' carcinoma was only found in the area of origination (in and immediately around the nipple area). All of the remaining surrounding tissue taken out in the simple mastectomy showed a very wide and totally clear margin!

Yaay,,, now I can move on!!!  Complete recovery from surgery and then OFF TO THE SKIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!  :0)

Thanks for lending an ear!


Good Flights!

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