I need an outlet. A place to get some of my thoughts and feelings out without judgement or that awkward silence from friends and family that just don’t understand what it’s like for me. I can’t really blame them though. It’s impossible to grasp what it’s like to have terminal cancer unless you have it yourself.
My first breast biopsy was at age 15. I had felt a lump in the shower. Turned out to be a cyst but it was very traumatic for me and in 1985 no one really talked about breast cancer. It wasn’t until I first went to an OOBGYN that I learned I had dense breast tissue. Avoid caffeine, chocolate and start taking Evening of Primrose. Yeah right.
2002 was my first Mammogram. One breast was quite a bit larger than the other and because I was 32 my Dr felt it was best. Mammogram led to an ultrasound. All clear but it was recommended that I have my next one in a few years. Fast forward to December 2009: My Mom is diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer. Shit just got real.
Everyone said not to worry. After all my Mom was 74 so my risk was no greater than before. I scheduled a mammogram immediately. Cysts were found and logged but nothing else to worry about. Mom had a lumpectomy and radiation and was considered cured. Thank God.
November 2012 another ‘clear’ mammogram but this time no ultrasound. You see THIS mammogram was state of the art 3D technology and no ultrasound was necessary. Guess strides are being made after all. In December I start having unexplained pain in my ribs. X rays are clear ..prolly a pulled muscle. Back pain begins in February and I’m put on heavy doses of Aleve.
August 6th. It feels like a kidney stone. A trip to my Dr and I’m put on Cipro. Two days later I’m feeling worse and my Dr orders a CT to see if there is a kidney stone. Good news – no stone but she’s troubled by a rib lesion and wants me to have an MRI. August 19th my Dr calls to tell me she needs to consult with an Oncologist. Oncologist? She said Oncologist. I have cancer. She continues to talk about other tests I’m going to need but I don’t hear much else. My head is spinning. Little did I know it was about to get worse.