Almost a year ago, I came across a blogger on the Huffington Post in the health news section, she was posting about her experience as a woman and a nurse dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis. I found her blog to be very informative, funny, sad, empowering and hopeful. I found her to be especially brave and courageous because before she had been diagnosed herself, she was the nurse who walked women on a daily basis through their own mammograms and subsequent outcomes. When she shared her initial reaction to the very news that devastated so many other women under her care, it was so heart wrenching. Her intimate knowledge was both her ally and her enemy, sometimes in cancer cases too much knowledge doesn’t always help morale. She wrote about that, but also included the precious hope that each case is so highly individual that you need to keep an open mind to all therapies.
As I joined her during her journey through the chemotherapy and the radiation therapy, she wrote movingly of her frustration with being the patient instead of the caretaker and the caregiver. She also found the comical in her travails with the undignified personal effects of chemotherapy and radiation, the misadventures with the bathroom was often the monkey wench in her outings.
She also focused on how important the silent steady support she received from her husband. The unexpected ways he would help her such as installing a bathroom finder app. on her IPhone got him the award for most considerate husband of the year.
If you are following my daily posting then you are aware that today was mammogram day. What I really appreciate at my local Women’s Imaging Center is the kindness and gentleness of the nurses and the radiologist. Since they have been keeping abreast (ha,ha) of my situation since 2008 with the small calcifications, they take care to try to make it as quick and painless as possible both during the mammography and the film reading. Today I fully expected to be filmed at least twice due to fact that I was blessed with dense tissue. A blessing when you are young, not so much when your forties come knocking on your door. After the second round the nurse came to get me not for a third film but for a meeting with the radiologist. A little unnerving because this hadn’t happened before, essentially he said that he was recommending a biopsy because the calcifications were getting more numerous and growing since six months ago. Needless to say that I was in shock, I hadn’t expected a need for a biopsy, and then I felt a little shaken.
Now that I’m writing this, I feel better, it is only a biopsy, the radiologist said that there is a 5 percent chance that something could be wrong, so those are good odds.
Going back and thinking about the blogger I wrote about, gives me a much better perspective. It is a one step at a time process and that is how I will approach it. One thing at a time.