Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My Wellness Story

Okay, folks, I'm going to get "real" here and share what's been going on with me, health-wise.


About a month ago, I discovered a lump in my breast. Needless to say, I was alarmed. I immediately scheduled an appointment with my OB-GYN. She then sent me to an imaging center for a mammogam and ultrasound. My hope was that it's simply a cyst. No such luck. It was solid. Next step: fine-needle biopsy.

The results of the fine-needle biopsy revealed atypical cells. What does this mean? Well, it doesn't necessarily mean cancer, but that couldn't be ruled out. Next step: a consult with the surgeon. I met with the surgeon and after she examined me, it was decided that I would have a lumpectomy and sentinal lymph node biopsy.

I had the surgery on a Thursday, went home that evening and spent the next few days recovering and waiting on my results. I finally heard the good news from the surgeon: benign and no pre-cancerous cells found. I do have Lobular Carcinoma in Situ (LCIS), though, which while not cancer, greatly increases my risk of cancer.

Now, I'm likely making this sound like a quick process, but it took more than a month for all of the tests, procedures and results. The waiting induced such worry and anxiety. I found that waiting for the results made me feel far worse than the actual procedures.

Next steps? Regular MRI screenings, rather than standard mammograms. And, apparently I'm a good candidate for Tamoxifen, a drug that has been shown to reduce breast cancer risk. I meet with the doctors tomorrow to gather more information on this treatment. I then have a follow-up with the surgeon on Thursday.

So, why I am telling you all of this information? Because if I can convince at least one woman to do a self-exam and seek treatment early, then I've accomplished something - at least in my little world. In today's age, with early detection and the technology available, many forms of cancer can be treated and people can go on living long, productive lives.

Moral of the story? Ladies, regularly examine your "girls." Guys, regularly examine your "boys." Live long. Be happy. Cherish everything!



15 comments:

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

I think you're very wise to be proactive and vigilant.
Mother had breast cancer and I have had a lumpectomy.
Your medical practitioners will steer you in the best direction and annual mammograms are the way to go.
Take care of yourself,
Hostess

Kerr said...

I am so sorry to hear you had to go through all of this. Self exams are so important, I am glad you caught it when you did.

Danielle said...

I'm so relieved to hear that it was benign. I recently went through a similar scare with a questionable mole on my arm and mine turned out to be cancerous. Early detection is crucial! I can certainly relate to the scary feelings. It makes you appreciate life a little more for sure (:

Main Line Sportsman said...

Hope like Hell you remain cancer free...scary time for you I am sure. Stay positive and be strong!

AEOT said...

Wow, what a month! I'm so sorry you went through all this and I'm glad that, for now, you are cancer free. I hope that it continues to remain that way!!!

Mrs. Cader said...

So happy to hear you are healthy and at home recovering. I went through a similar situation a few years ago. The places your mind takes you while under that kind of stress are horrific. I love your advice: "Girls take care of your 'girls' and boys take care of your 'boys'!" :)

Ella said...

I say like the others that I'm both sorry to hear about your suffering and glad to hear that it wasn't the worst.

Many hugs

James said...

My prayers and thoughts for you dear lady.

Samma said...

Thanks so much for sharing this- it's hard to remember that even though we are young, self exams are so critical. I'm so glad that you were diligent in yours.

bellamia said...

Thank you so much for sharing. It must have been so hard (and still)to go through that. So glad you were so agressive and pro-active. Thanks for reminding all of us to take care of ourselves. Many blessings to you and your family! Stay strong, and let us know how the meeting goes with the doctor on that medicine.

brohammas said...

Never good news. Prayers are with you.

Jo said...

What a scary time for you! I agree that the waiting period is always so painful. So happy to hear that you don't have cancer and are taking the steps to remain so. Thank you for the remind ~ so important!!!

Jo

Lily Lemontree said...

My friend, I am very sorry to hear that you have had to go through this but elated to hear that it is benign! The stressful waiting for results is just horrible and I speak from experience :(
Regular screenings and self-exams are so very important, catching something in its early stages can make such a difference. Cancer has run rampant in my father's family (sister and all 5 brothers including my dad have all fought with this terrible disease, some not as successfully as my father) so I am very vigilant with regular breast exams.

LPC said...

Thank you for sharing. The more we all have these realities in our minds, the better off we all are. You serve the community with your honest, and I thank you. And thank goodness the results were what they were, but I know this by no means feels like a clean bill of health.

Glitterista said...

I am so sorry to hear you had such a scare. Wishing you lots of health and happiness. :)