Because it couldn't happen to me? Hasn't enough happened to me? I just came back from New Zealand feeling the best I have in years but facing a very difficult decision of having to put my 17 year old severely disabled son with MR and autism into full time residential living because it was becoming unmanageable at home. I mean we have been living with pad locks on our doors for years now and my almost 13 year old son had no social life and he deserved some time. My 17 year old is mentally 2 at best and it was eating me alive. In the way that only a mother could understand. His entire life, every day I made every single decision of his day. What he would wear and dress him, what he would eat, where he would go, all of his educational decisions...the works. Now suddenly I was faced with someone(s) else doing that and my home falling silent from his various sound affects. He cannot talk, but he is far from quiet.
So I go away, clear my head and come home to take on this huge challenge before me.
Then something else happened. Something I didn't see coming, nor did I expect. I don't smoke, drink, do drugs and I have no family history. My history thus far included giving a tiny bit of help that I could to this powerhouse of woman named Joan, whom at 70 was now a two time breast cancer survivor. I think we laughed more than we did anything else, but isn't laughter the best medicine? This was early in October and I had no idea what was going on with my body. Joan was taking on a whole town and organizing a Pink Walk. I was in awe of her. Having been an event coordinator myself, I was so impressed and I think I was looking at myself 30 or so years down the road. I adored her, she was just so much fun to be around.
This past Monday night I went out with a friend and met up with an Angel Psychic. I had some questions lined up, but before we could get started, she said "We need to talk about your health, specifically your breast health." I kinda looked at her baffled but listened as I have learned to listen to those who are speaking to her, my angels. I have a lot, I need a lot! She gave me info specifically about my left breast and suggested I get a mammogram, soon and we went on to other topics. I had no idea how soon that would be.
The very next day I was surfing the web, and on our local on line paper there was this nifty little thing you could sign up to remind you to do your monthly exams (which I already did, but brush ups never hurt) , get your yearly mammograms and check ups, had some tips, recipes and it included three main symptoms of breast cancer. One was drainage from the nipple. I said "Huh, I use to get that for some time after breast feeding, wonder if it still does that?" So while doing my self exam I tried to extract (you breast feeding moms know what I mean there.) Nothing on the right, went to the left and dammit, blood came out. I froze. I literally froze.
OMG, I have never had anything like that come out of my breast before! Dammit, my doctors are closed! I got in when my doctor returned to the office on Thursday as I was having no of this business with a fill in after 16 years of us tactling everything from autism and abusive husbands, and had him give me the full work up on an exam and showed him the bleeding. He didn't like it and thought he felt something on the underside of that breast. I said "What? I cannot feel a thing." Fact of the matter is that often women don't feel anything early on, which is why after 40-41 you start going every year for a mammogram. Ironically I was scheduled to go next one month, since I pushed it back by two months for my trip. Which really is not a big deal since my base line was normal five years ago and I am in a low risk category.
My doctor asked me if I could get a mammogram and an ultra sound that day (this is Thursday now) I said HELL YES! And off to the nearest imaging center we went with an opening.
I was told on the spot there was a nodule, it was not a cyst and they didn't like it because of the bleeding. Strike 2 on the bleeding thing. I call my family doctor back now hysterical in the parking lot and he tells me he is going to call me later that night with a name.
By 8:30 p.m. he calls, but I am pretty out of it from crying most of the day. I am just in shock. He said he will be calling me in the morning with her name and number and I am to call to make an appointment. Next morning I get a call instead, they made the appointment for me, and I am to be there by 1:30 p.m. I am now going to the Helen H. Graham Cancer Center and I am scared to death. But I have angels among me who are pushing and making sure I am getting where I need to go and as quickly as possible.
I go and meet up with the breast surgeons assistant and she says "I'll be honest, I don't like the bleeding either, but most nodules we fine are benign." Strike 3 on that bleeding thing...I am now beyond terrified. I look at the screen in disbelief for the first time and I didn't like it. There it wsa, this dark black circular THING. It was an unwelcome and unwanted invader in my body and I wanted it out and fast. They were hoping this coming Monday that I would get my biopsy, but I have to wait till the 9th and I get all the results in on the 16th. Apparently business is good at the cancer center. So I must wait till the 16th to know what my future holds. I know it holds at least a surgery to take that sucker out no matter what it's attitude may be...I did not invite it and it is leaving. My attitude is piss poor as far as it is concerned.
So here it is Halloween, and the last day of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I cannot express enough to everyone out there to get your mammograms and do your monthly exams. Also check in with your doctor about anything strange looking about your breasts or change in them. Don't be embarrassed. Because I gotta tell ya, I would have stripped for anyone and everyone without hesitation if they were going to help me. All I could think about were my kids. No question is a stupid question, not asking is stupid. And don't think you are safe if you have no family history and live a low risk lifestyle. It can happen anytime to anyone. One in 8 women they say. Not great odds. I really didn't see this coming and I always have kept up on my girly health maintenance. I wasn't there, and then it was.
I am just hoping and praying that this sucker is benign and they will take it out and I will be on my merry way. Will I feel like I worried over nothing if it is? NO. I have a family I am responsible for and it's my job to worry and make sure I am OK. If it's not benign? Well, we will worry about that part after we get past this first part.
So, that is why I stopped with the pleasant blogs on New Zealand and I have lots more to tell, but I have had this bit of a hiccup in the road and need to deal with it. Which I am, full steam ahead. So Think Pink....it will save your life.