My best friend is devastated as her mother is diagnosed of breast cancer. While a small lump gave it all away, the pertinent threats aren’t unknown to anybody. Frankly speaking, we all know what havoc this condition can wreck. ...more
Today I experienced something that few men ever do. I had my first mammogram.Yes, men do get breast cancer. About one out of every thousand males is so diagnosed. This translates to only about 1% of all breast cancer cases. Granted, this is nothing compared to the one out of every nine women who find themselves with breast cancer at some time of their lives. But neither does it mean that we men are exempt because of our gender....more
This past weekend I ran a 10-mile race. I realized afterward that it has been exactly three years since I received the call that changed my life. I remembered this same race, the Mid-Winter Classic in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, three years ago. I did not compete, but my husband did. That year the race was a few days earlier, and I didn't know what was coming. I had a mammogram and ultrasound, done two days before, which were both "reassuring". I distinctly remember waiting for my husband to finish and thinking I had nothing to worry about. ...more
There are many differences between Angelina Jolie and myself. I have breast cancer. She does not. She has the genetic predisposition for breast cancer. I do not. She chose to have a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction. I did not. I had a unilateral mastectomy. For me, I could not cut off a healthy breast, but more and more women are making the same choice as Angelina Jolie....more
I found the lump. I was not looking for it, but I knew something was wrong with my breast. Over a period of several months, I noticed subtle changes in the shape of my breast. At times, it felt heavy and ached. Then a distinct lump appeared. I ignored it, at first, convinced it was a cyst and would go away. It didn't go away. I had never had a mammogram, which may seem remiss for an obstetrician-gynecologist (I'll save that discussion for another time.) Even with what turned out to be a 4.7 cm tumor, my mammogram was read as essentially normal, just dense breasts....more
During the week or so after my "well woman's" visit, I was busy trying to get my house back together after a very busy year. We hosted a rehearsal dinner party for my son and his new wife on October 10th. I made their wedding and groom's cakes for their big day on October 11th. Then my new (3 year old) grandson spend two nights with us while Mommy & Daddy were on their honeymoon. January through September were also very busy....more
Then I learned I had the BRCA1 mutation, and I discovered that I needed to be my own best advocate - in researching the options I had for preventative care, in fighting for coverage for the prophylactic procedures I was choosing, and in finding and communicating with health care professionals. The experience gave me even confidence in speaking up for myself. I don't like arguing for arguments' sake, but when something or someone is worth advocating for, I now feel justified in fighting a good fight.