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By Mary Margaret
Posted on

I had the conversation with my friend.

In August 2007, I was told I had LCIS (Lobular Carsonoma In Situ) in my right breast. I was devastated thinking and knowing that I had irregular cells growing in me. But they were contained and my oncologist encouraged me to begin monitoring and taking an estrogen blocking medicine. For the next three years, I had mammograms and MRIs and follow-ups with the oncologist until October of 2010 when a MRI showed that I had a small nodule in my other breast. After an ultrasound biopsy, I was told that I had DCIS (Ductal Carsonoma In Situ) and the small nodule was papalliary carsonoma. It was difficult hearing this news after all the preventative tests and medicine regiment. I distinctly remember the office visit where my oncologist, my husband, and I decided that the best thing for me to do was to have a bilateral mastectomy. I was only 48. After meeting with my surgeon, I was encouraged by her to fill out an Advance Directives. I took those steps prior to surgery and filled out my Healthcare Power of Attorney and Living Will documents. Years later I became involved with an initiative by my hospital to increase the number of Advance Planning documents in our community. After being introduced to “The Conversation Project” through a “Respecting Choices” trainer, I understood that there is so much more that needs to be addressed than what was in those documents I filled out years ago. “The Conversation Project” really addresses how, who, where, and what I want at end of life. Using this document helped me talk with my loved ones and writing it down helped me progress through decisions I had not even thought about. AND it was easy. I now know that I will be respected and that is really what it is all about in the end.

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