Mom had her lumpectomy yesterday and all went very, very well. The lymph nodes weren't involved at all and they were able to remove all the tumor. After having some time to think about my initial response, I wonder if I was reacting out of fear and shock.
The original doctor she saw wanted to just do a radical mastectomy with big, old fashioned radiation and get it over with. My wonderful, intelligent, calm sister arranged for a second opinion. The second doctor was able to do a tiny lumpectomy, grab a couple lymph nodes and stitch her up. Mom sees the oncologist in a day or two to discuss having a balloon inserted in the incision area with some radioactive "seeds" to do the dosing instead of the old fashioned radiation therapy method. She'll have to be on estrogen and progesterone inhibitors for five years, but the kind of cancer she has responds well to that kind of treatment.
Now THAT is a prognosis I think I could live with. I'm not altogether sure it's worth dosing my breasts with radiation yearly, but it's not the death sentence they would regularly hand out to cancer victims when I was a child.
In researching risk factors, I found that my mom's tendency might have been artificially inflated. She had a total hysterectomy in the 1970s and has been on estrogen ever since. That will inflate your odds considerably! So, me in denial says, "Blame this whole fiasco on the doctors who've had her on estrogen for 30 years even after her aunt had a double radical at age 80! It has nothing to do with your genes!" Hm. I'll have to write more as my thinking progresses on this. I'm not sure I've reached the final, end-all iteration of my thinking.