- Women's Health
NigelSr.'s Breast Cancer Journey
Mammograms Do Save Lives
In this hub, I am, finally, sharing an update of my Breast Cancer Journey, as I call it ... which I have, already, been sharing on my Facebook Pages, my blogs, and websites, etc., since almost the beginning of my diagnosis, in hopes of saving lives. I want women to understand how important self-examination, and mammograms (mammos), etc. are; and to go and have a mammogram done, NOW, if they haven't been doing so, or if they feel any change, or anything suspicious, in their breasts. Men should do so, also; men are, also, privy to breast cancer. I found mine on my own, which made me kind of angry; since I called myself having mammograms, every year, because of my mom's history (my mom had breast cancer TWICE, and Stage 4, at that) ... why I recommend DIGITAL mammograms (with an ultrasound), NOT those basic ones. MRI's, at times, is also, a good idea; although, you do not want to subject your body to too many MRI's.
My Breast Cancer Journey Update
In early May 2014, after a core needle biopsy and bilateral Breast MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging); I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I had a hard time dealing with this new health development, in my life; and those that I did share this with, I had asked them not to tell anyone, because, at the time, I was not ready to be open about this. I find myself still struggling with this, even, now. Soon, I had found out that I was Stage Two. Compared to my other health issues, that I have faced, e.g. Sarcoidosis, my autoimmune diagnosis, etc., this has been the hardest test, yet. I had, even, sought a second opinion; I was so numb and in disbelief. It was raining a lot around that time, sometimes really hard, when I was feeling, at my lowest, about the diagnosis ... I had felt that, even, the heavens was crying with me.
Well, I guess that you can say I that I did receive some good news, later, after I had a P.E.T. (Positron Emission Tomography) Scan, that was ordered by my Oncologist. When I saw my surgeon, one of my Doctors, that I had asked them to, also, send the results to; she said that from the notes, that she could make out, that the Cancer had NOT spread; and she set my surgery date, for July 9th ... after she verified from me, exactly, what my wishes were ... which was a mastectomy. My surgeon did recommend a lumpectomy; however, after a lot of researching, reading, and options given to me from a Cancer Center, near my home; I decided on a mastectomy.
A week, later, I saw my Primary doctor. And, according to my primary doctor, assuming that my surgeon is able to remove the whole tumor; he said that my Oncologist, told him, that I will NOT have to have Chemo, or Radiation. This was, partly, because of my health history; and the Oncologist preference to not have to go there, if at all possible. However, I may have to take these pills, that they had told me about; however, I decided that I, actually, prefer to take them if they will help prevent the Cancer from returning.
My surgery was on July 9, 2014. After my surgery, I was allowed to go home, after remaining at the hospital for just one night. I was very adamant about not staying in the hospital. After all, too many sick people, in the hospital. I did not want to catch anything. I was, previously, told that I had to remain at the hospital for, at least, a week. As long as my release was/is a safe decision, for me; I had decided that I rather be home; than in a cold, noisy hospital ... and, take my chances there. The surgeon, after making me agree to a whole bunch of restrictions ... no driving, no cooking, a lot of bed rest, home health care, etc., did discharge me. A home-care nurse did come to my house, after my surgery, and release from the hospital, everyday, for a week, to check my vitals, change my dressing, etc. To this date, everything, including my healing, according to my follow-up visit with my surgeon, the other day (July 17th, exactly, a week after my surgery), is looking good.
Speaking of my first follow-up visit (since my surgery) with my surgeon. My staples were removed; and, in a surprise 'very painful' move, my surgeon removed the drainage tubes. She lifted all of the restrictions, that she had imposed on me (still 'NO DRIVING!"), where I can attempt to do things, on my own ... however, I had to promise to stop, when I realize that I still cannot handle whatever I am trying to do, so as not to rip apart my surgery site, and/or do, even, more damage, elsewhere. Like my other doctors, she lectured me about my eating, and diet. Since my surgery, I, really, do not have much of an appetite ... I rather sleep, when I can get it. I did agree to concentrate on eating more of the foods that I will eat, right now. My next appointment with my surgeon, again, is in three weeks. I have to see my Oncologist, before then ... to see what other, continuing, follow-up treatment, that I will require. But, to reiterate, all in all, my surgeon stated that I am healing very well, and very quickly.
Since being home, I have been sleeping/resting a lot ... I just seem to be so tired, all the time. I am still recovering; but I am still trying to stay on top of my online stores, etc. #BearyAmazing I am, now, upbeat ... the cancer tumor have been removed from my body. And, I will do whatever else that my doctors want me to do, to make a full recovery. After my breast cancer experience, I, now, feel you my Cancer Sisters. And for anyone out there, that is, or keep putting mammograms on the back burner ... DON'T ... do a self-examination, and/or go get that mammo, AND be an advocate for YOUR own health!
What Do You Think?
Have you been diagnosed with Breast Cancer? What was your approach?
Re: Decisions Made After Diagnosis
I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in early May, 2014. I found the lump, on my own, via self-examination. This kind of made me angry, as I have been trying to have a mammogram every year because my mom had Breast Cancer, AND stage 4, at that, TWICE! She beat it both times, where she had chemo, and radiation, for a year, both times. I am happy to say that she will be turning 80 years old, this October; and is still cancer-free. My surgeon suggested a lumpectomy; however, after googling, and researching, regarding the two options, their pros and cons; I chose a mastectomy (my right breast only). My recommendation is a combination of both approaches ... a mammogram and self-examination, regularly. I am curious as to what approach others have taken; after being diagnosed. I am still questioning my decisions; and I still have some hard decisions to make.