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Today The Doctor Told Me I Have Breast Cancer

Updated on July 28, 2012

Thank God I Have Family, Friends and Health Insurance!

Last month I noticed a lump in my breast and because my mother died at 56 from breast cancer, I instinctively knew. No, it does not skip a generation and yes, I have always wanted to think that I would get out of this life without having to hear the words that one out of every eight women hears: "You have breast cancer." But today, I heard the words. I haven't even had a biopsy yet, but the two radiologists say they are sure. The mammogram was suspicious, but the ultrasound this morning must have confirmed the suspicions.

Crazy as it may sound, my first reaction was laughter; not because cancer is anything to laugh at, but because the radiologist's name is, of all things, Dr. Lumpkin. The irony was just too much and the laughter was almost uncontrollable. Leave it to me to make fun of someone's name...

The biopsy will be scheduled for sometime in the next couple of weeks. As sure as they are that it is cancer, they are not sure if it has spread. That will come later, as will the decisions. I was congratulated because they think that I found it early enough. I hope so! My mother waited too long. She noticed a lump and waited for close to three years before telling anyone. By that time the cancer had spread to every part of her body and I watched as the surgeons removed not just her breast, but so many other parts of her cancer-ravaged body.

This morning my son, who took me for the ultrasound, reminded me that my mother managed to live for almost five years after her diagnosis and that she was not mean. It is a joke that my kids have. Through every medical catastrophe that I have survived, and there have been many, they always say, "Mom, you will be okay. You're too mean to die!" It may very well be true...

I am so lucky, really. I have three kids that I love, I have two beautiful grandchildren, I have good, good friends that cannot be replaced and I have great health insurance.

On and off throughout the day, I thought about how different this day would have been if I lacked health insurance and that is the one thing that brought me to tears. How many women have to face this knowing that they will not get the care that they need; the care that might save them just because they lack health insurance?

I have worked in the health care field for over thirty years and the difference between death and survival is many, many times determined by health insurance coverage or lack of it. It should not happen, but it does and it has to change. Just because I have health care coverage makes me no more worthy to live than someone who doesn't, and right now, as this diagnosis is still sinking in, I continue to think about those thousands of other women who will get a similar diagnosis this year.

I have been tired lately and haven't had the energy to do much writing. As I fight this upcoming battle, I am going to do my best to continue to anger the conservative right with an occasional article.

Wish me luck and yes, say a little prayer for me, please...


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  • peachpower profile image

    peachpower 5 years ago from Florida

    This is one of those times that words fail me. Odd, really, because I never shut up. I even talk in my sleep. :)

    I wanted to say something because I can't help myself. Because I've been there when the doctors have had to break the news. Because my job is to comfort. Because my father just went through chemo.

    I don't know you, that's true. That doesn't mean I won't think about you in the days and weeks to come, and admire the strength you've shown in publishing this Hub for the world to see. Mentally, I'm high-fiving you. Hang tough, lady. Reach out when you need to.

    Ps- you know what- I would've laughed at the doctor's name too. That's like a dentist being named Drill...

  • cathylynn99 profile image

    cathylynn99 5 years ago from northeastern US

    hi, jillian,

    i just moved so have been off the internet for a few days. i was shocked and dismayed to see this title in my inbox. i hope you have a great outcome of whatever treatment you decide on.

  • healthylife2 profile image

    Healthy Life 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

    So sorry to hear and know how stressful a cancer diagnosis and treatment is. I'm thinking of you and sending hugs!! Hope you will keep us updated.

  • LillyGrillzit profile image

    Lori J Latimer 5 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

    Jillian, I am sorry you have been told you have cancer. It is a blow. Amazing though, is your response, and positive reactions. Your knowledge of the healthcare industry, and that you have good insurance make you well armed for this battle. Your laughter was your first dose of the best medicine.

    I will pray for healing, and the very best for you!

  • Gemini Fox profile image

    Gemini Fox 5 years ago

    Hey, Jillian, you hang in there girl! It's absolutely beatable! Think we've all been missing your hubs but you need to take care of YOU first! All good wishes! :)

  • Terry.Hirneisen profile image

    Terry.Hirneisen 5 years ago from Shenandoah Valley

    Terry: your friend Jillian is sick.

    Sacky: She is ? She is my best friend and ally! I must write and tell her I love her.

    Terry : she knows.

    Sacky: and send her kisses.

    Terry: ok

    Sacky : and tell her to hug her new doggy.

    Terry: I am sure she does.

    Sacky : I am gonna bite Romney.

    Terry : what good will that do?

    Sacky : it'll make her laugh

    Terry : that would be good.

  • chefsref profile image

    Lee Raynor 5 years ago from Citra Florida

    You will be in my prayers Jillian. Keep fighting and good luck.


  • Jean Bakula profile image

    Jean Bakula 5 years ago from New Jersey

    You have a great attitude and are such a caring person, to worry about women without health insurance more than you are worried about yourself. I hear lots of good outcomes for women who find the lump early, and will do my best to send you prayers, healing light, and to anger the conservative right.

  • Wizard Of Whimsy profile image

    Wizard Of Whimsy 5 years ago from The Sapphire City

    Jillian, take heart! Now is not the time for cliches, nevertheless, I'm going to give one: [i]We are all like teabags—we don't know our own strength until we're dipped into hot water![/i]

    Now is the time for courage and the only courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one moment to the next.

    Face your fears, find your strength and most importantly, find a breast cancer support group in your area and let those wonderful women share their experiences and wisdom with you. Don't delay!

    Every good wish of course and may the Universe be extraordinarily kind and merciful to you!

  • randslam profile image

    Rand Zacharias 5 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

    My business partner discovered a lump at the same time as you. We live up here in Canada so she's already had the mammogram, x-rays, ultrasound imaging and moving to biopsy and MRI...thankfully, we have universal won't cost her a dime.

    She took it hard, as there was no history of this in her family...shit happens...and after the initial shock she has decided to fight with all her might. Odds are in her favour, as for many younger women, under 30, breast cancer can be a death sentence of very short order. For women over 40, for some reason, complete recovery is often the case.

    My friend, and business partner, will be notified about this hub...and perhaps the two of you can communicate your they seem to be in sync.

    Her doctor's name is maybe that's a good Lumpkin...we have a dentist up here that goes by Dr. Gore...I like that picture in my mind of a bloody dentist from Li'l Shop of Horrors.

    At any rate, Jillian, let's keep the conservative right-wing nuts on their toes and live life liberally, with kindness and generosity...and healing.

    Good luck with your battle...I want to hear the rest of the story being nothing but a victory. Good thoughts are aimed your way...I voted up and everything else...glad to be the first one to post on your hub. Much love.

  • The Frog Prince profile image

    The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

    I'll put you in my prayers.

    The Frog

  • Terry.Hirneisen profile image

    Terry.Hirneisen 5 years ago from Shenandoah Valley

    My thoughts are with you. Eat lots of good stuff like blueberries and other food rich in antioxidants. Pam takes metformin every day. although it is a diabetes med, it seems to be beneficial for cancer treatment. Studies are underway.

    You are a wonderful woman and deserve the best!

  • mio cid profile image

    mio cid 5 years ago from Uruguay

    I'd like to send you a big hug from new jersey, and being a leftist and a catholic I will be praying for your successful recovery and strongly suggest you take advantage of all the weapons science can provide you to win this battle.I always remember the story my grandfather told me about the guy who was drowning and had several chances to be rescued but he refused them because he said he had faith in god, of course he drowned and when in heaven he asked god why he let him drown and god enumerated the various opportunities he sent to his rescue and he refused.This is to say faith should give us the strength to get through hard times but the things given to us in order to overcome adversity are the answers to those well soon.

  • vwriter profile image

    vwriter 5 years ago from US

    My prayers are with you.

  • lindalou1963 profile image

    Linda 5 years ago from Texas

    I didn't read your bio until after I read your article! Good for you for reporting the fraud, sounds like something I would have done!

  • lindalou1963 profile image

    Linda 5 years ago from Texas

    I wish you luck!! And I will pray for you as well! :) I am one of those women without insurance that you mention. I work part time but the company will not give me full time, therefore, I have no insurance. I go to the local clinic for colds, blood pressure meds and small things like that. I was recently diagnosed with osteoarthritis in both knees, with my right knee being severe. Also, my right knee has 3 bone fragments 'floating' around in it. There is no 'cure' for this and pain medicine doesn't help so I stopped taking it. The only thing to 'fix' this problem would be surgery and thats not going to happen without insurance. So what to do? deal with it every day, some days are good, some not. Yesterday was not.

  • mperrottet profile image

    Margaret Perrottet 5 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

    My daughter-in-law had breast cancer 10 years ago, and is healthy and fine today. She has to be closely monitored every year, but so far so good. I know at least two other people with the same story - they are healthy and fine today after many years of having been treated. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Specialk3749 profile image

    Karen Metz 5 years ago from Michigan

    Prayers said for you! I had to have a biopsy a few years ago, but thankfully it did not turn out to be anything. Ever since them, I think about the "what ifs" and wonder how I would have handled it. Think of it this way, every experience in life will give you more to write about. Prayers again!

  • profile image

    Howard Schneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

    Best of wishes to you, Jillian. I was sorry to hear about your breast cancer. But if anyone can fight and beat it, with humor, it is you. Thank God you do have good health insurance. Please let us know how you are doing from time to time when you have the strength. I am praying for you.

  • lovemychris profile image

    Yes Dear 5 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

    A big prayer Jillian. You are a fighter...and that's half the battle.

  • KenWu profile image

    KenWu 5 years ago from Malaysia

    I'm sorry to learn about your medical condition. I will include you in my prayer reciting next morning.

    God bless you.

  • Josak profile image

    Josak 5 years ago from variable

    Sorry to hear it but hope it is all good news from here on in, I sincerely wish you a quick recovery and I think you are spot on about coverage.

    Your courage is wonderful to see and it's great that you have people to support you, stay strong.

  • arb profile image

    arb 5 years ago from oregon

    My prayers are with you Jillian.