Today is like a birthday of sorts. I’ve been cancer free for one year. Last June first I was lying in a hospital bed wondering if I’d made the right decision. First of all, I was in a lot of … Continue reading
“I’ve been considering words that start with the letter M,” said the Mad Hatter. Today, I’ve been considering a word that starts with the letter C. Cancer. Specifically breast cancer.
Here are a few tidbits for you to digest.
- One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
- This year 230,000 women will be diagnosed and 40,000 will die from breast cancer.
- Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women.
Risk factors include family history, smoking, gender, and ethnicity. I’m female and I’m white. I didn’t know this but white women have a slightly higher risk for developing breast cancer. There’s no family history of breast cancer in my family and I don’t smoke so mark them off the list. I’m over forty but according to the reading I’ve been doing risk increases when you are over fifty-five.
Here’s the scoop. I am one of these women who has always gotten my yearly exams. I get an annual check up with my family practitioner. I go to my ob/gyn every year. I got my baseline mammogram at 37 as recommended. Since I turned forty I’ve gotten a yearly mammogram. The only thing I’ve ever been told is I have dense breast and it makes reading the x-rays difficult. Not a big thing right? A little over two weeks ago I went for my annual boob squeezing. No problems. No lumps or concerns. Well, I was concerned about one thing, getting done quickly so I would make it to Zumba on time. (I made it, barely.) The following week incidentally while on my way to Zumba I got the call from my doctor’s office. The nurse told me there were microcalcification clusters present in both breast and additional images were needed. I freaked a little. I went and saw my mom. I had a week and a half to wait for the diagnostic views to be taken. While I waited I spoke with friends and found out a lot of women have to have additional imaging of their breasts for various reasons. It’s pretty common. I calmed down.
Today was repeat mammo day. I went in and after numerous attempts, the tech managed to get the pics the radiologist wanted. It took forever, ok maybe an hour. He wanted to talk to me. Not a good sign I thought. I went in, and on a large computer screen in the dark office, saw what the fuss is about. On the blown up image there was a cluster of specks. Tiny specks. The radiologist explained that it may be nothing but it could be early breast cancer and it would be really recommended to check them out with a biopsy and MRI. The main reason being this: they weren’t there on last year’s films. Now I’m scheduled for the breast biopsy in the morning.
Most likely scenario. the biopsy will be benign. That’s what I’m praying for although I know whatever these microcalcifications are, is already present in there. God’s grace enter now, please.
This isn’t my usual blog post. I’ve only been writing scholarly papers for the last two months. They are quite boring for the most part. I’m mentally exhausted and the thoughtfulness that writing brings out in me isn’t there tonight. Please, dear readers, send prayers and chants.
Daisies, coffee and chocolate,