After my last visit with the oncologist, I felt pretty defeated.  Not only did my blood tests upset me (my white count was low, red was borderline anemic, and platelets were in the 50's again), but I felt so pressured by my oncologist to start chemotherapy.  As he put it, I was "playing with fire" by waiting for treatment.  I was so torn with what to do, because I'm very against chemotherapy and the damaging effects it has on the body.  To know that MDS is caused by chemotherapy and radiation, it's so hard for me to think that chemotherapy is the answer for treatment. I mean, have you seen the caution/hazard warnings on chemotheraphy, or the fact that anyone handling it has to wear a hazmat suit when it's being made?  THAT going into a vein in my body, does NOT seem right.  After discussing with him, he admitted that the chemotherapy will not cure, nor help the MDS, but merely "maybe" prevent it from progressing into Acute Myeloid Leukemia.  Thus, enter my "fear" mode again, when he starts throwing around those terms.  Should I start on this chemo?  Is that the path I'm supposed to take?

I still feel in my gut that it's not.

I scheduled myself to come in for the 5 day treatment of Vidaza, the chemotherapy that's been recommended and the only thing approved for MDS. December 14th, would be the first day.  This does not feel right.  It's going against everything I have read about building the immune system.  My immune system needs support right now, not to be beat down.  I have so many thoughts, emotions, fears right now, and I just don't know which path to take!

So with that set, my search for a surgeon to remove my implants was still on.  I emailed back and forth with Dr. Edward Melmed, one of the nations top plastic surgeons who recognizes the dangers of implants.  In fact, he no longer implants woman - only explants!  I emailed him with my true situation, bad blood work and all, to see if he felt I was ok enough for surgery.  After a little research, I also found out that his son, also living in the Dallas area, is a hematologist/oncologist (the exact Dr. I've been dealing with here for my MDS!).  What are the chances of that?!

Dr. Melmed was so kind in his email, but was concerned about the borderline anemia.  After we discussed further, he gave me the "ok" and to chat with his office staff for scheduling and such.  A glimmer of hope has returned!  I may get to have these things out soon!

The earliest is February for him.  Ok, taking that in consideration as well as the travel costs, hotels, and more, Melmed may be out of the reality of this.  Then I got to thinking. I live in Los Angeles, only 20 minutes from Beverly Hills where the nations top plastic surgeons practice.  There has got to be a surgeon nearby that is skilled in explants.  So my search continued.

I googled, read up, saw before and after photos, and read philosophies of countless surgeons in the Southern California area.  One really stood out from the rest.  Dr. Gabriel Chiu, is an O.D., and a plastic and reconstructive surgeon.  His accolades are a long list of amazing-ness, and his reviews are excellent.

I nervously made the call.  From the moment I started my conversation with the receptionist, I already felt like this was my match.  She was warm, welcoming, and made me feel like I was "home."  That may sound silly to explain how a doctor's office made me feel, but in this vulnerable state I'm in, I'm going by gut feelings for the most part, and this one feels right.  I set up my consultation for December 11.  The day can not come soon enough!