Category Archives: breast cancer

They called while I was away, another mammogram was necessary

I had my first mammogram when I was fifty, and when I received the letter to have another at fifty-two, I thought no problem. So last week before leaving for camping I went for a mammogram, and was told if there was an issue, they would call me. Off camping I went with no worries. Well apparently I should have worried because the Breast Screening program phoned, leaving a message with the teenage boy. (I wish I had not gone away, because then I would have received the telephone call, not the teenage boy). He was a tad concerned, wondering why I needed another scan. When he gave me the message, I put on a brave face, telling him that sometimes the scans don’t give proper images, thus the need for new ones. Inside though, I was worried because I knew the first scans were done perfectly.

I was the first appointment of the day. I squirmed in my seat as I waited. Finally, they called me and the first thing I asked was “why?”. Apparently the technician had seen something. I asked “where?”. “Your left breast”, and she pointed to the location. (Now I had been checking and re-checking my breasts the past few days, but I didn’t feel anything out of the normal). The extremely nice woman positioned my breast in the mammogram machine, so she could take the new pictures. It really hurt, but I wasn’t complaining. It didn’t matter how much it hurt this time, I wanted the images to be perfect. After she had the new pictures, I was told to wait in the waiting room while the doctor scanned the pictures and depending on the results, there may be need for an ultrasound.

Well I was waiting a few other women came into the room. Thursday was repeat day. The day for women with questionable scans. There were a few worried faces.

Another ten minutes or so went by before I was called in, an ultrasound was needed. Now I am scared. The ultrasound took very little time. When the technician was done, I was not sent to the waiting room, I was asked to wait where I was. I tried not to freak out. Images of my family went through my mind. I thought of my sister-in-law, who had lost her battle with cervical cancer not too long ago. It seemed like a long time before the technician re-entered the room, and when she reappeared, she just said all was fine, you can go. That was that. No explanation, nothing. Just everything was fine. I worried for no reason. I should have been happy but I wanted a better explanation.

On the way home, I happened to see my eldest daughter working (her summer job is cutting grass for the city). I waved, drove some more, then as soon as I could, I turned the car around. I drove to where I saw her. Then practically running out of the car, I gave her a great big hug and said “all is fine”. It had hit me. I was okay. Thank you Breast Screening Clinic.

To all women/men fighting breast cancer, I send you my strength, and hugs.

Update on my husband’s breast lump

Today we received the results of my husband’s mammogram, and it is good news. Hubby does not have breast cancer, he has Gynecomastia. Gynecomastia according to the Mayo clinic is enlarged breast tissue. There are many different reasons for Gynecomastia and in my husband’s case, it would appear it was caused by the steroids he was prescribed after his bike – car accident.

A couple of years ago, hubby was on his way home from a nice bike ride when an SUV pulled out in front of him. Hubby and his bike hit the side of the SUV, which resulted in him flying over the front hood of the vehicle landing hard on the cement sidewalk. We were not home when the accident occurred a block away from our house. There were many witnesses to the accident who wanted to call an ambulance but hubby was stubborn and decided to walk him and his bicycle home. When I arrived home later, I found hubby soaking in our swimming pool. He refused to go to the hospital and boy did I yell at him, until he finally agreed to see our doctor the next day. He was wearing a helmet when he was hit, but after such a trauma, a doctor should be seen because not all injuries are obvious. So the next day, x-rays and ultrasounds were done to make sure there were no fractures in his hip or elbow. The tests showed that he didn’t break anything, he just had many bumps and bruises. (I have some really nice pictures of the injury but I thought it was best not to show his butt, someone may be offended, though I do think his ass bum is quite cute!)

The results of the tests showed hubby had something called a hematoma, a collection of blood under the skin. After a course of prescribed steroids, the hematoma did not decrease, so the doctor tried to drain it. A very large needle was stabbed numerous times into the hip, but nothing came out. He would just have to wait until it disappeared on its own. Two years later, the hematoma is still there on his hip, though very small now, yet as a result of the steroids he has Gynecomastia. We have decided that the best course of action in his case is to have surgery because it will get larger over time and I really don’t want hubby to have to borrow one of my bras!

Death

Over the years my children have seen a lot of death, have been to one too many funerals, spoken at one too many funerals, and now again, someone close to them is dying.

We were extremely close to my mother’s side of the family. There was my grandmother’s sister, my Aunt Teddie, we watched her die in hospital from breast cancer. I would visit her daily and read to her, I brought my kids to see her frequently, the hospital setting never scared them because she was there.  Next was the little girl in grade six, she died unexpectedly during an operation, all my children were friends with her. The teenage boy, who was very young at the time, wasn’t sure if he wanted to walk up to the casket in the funeral home. I told him that was quite okay because she would know he was there with his prayers. As it turned out, all my kids went up to the open casket to say a few words, I found it hard watching them. My mother then became ill, undiagnosed stage 4 heart disease, they gave her a year to live. Mom was in and out of hospital, in a coma for months, resuscitated, sepsis, meningitis, were all the various things she dealt with while in coma. At one point, my grandmother mistakenly told us my mother had died.

I found my eldest hiding in her room crying – she would never cry at a funeral again, she was twelve at the time and exceptionally close to my mother.  Mom came out of the hospital and was with us for another nine months or so. The last time she went into hospital was very difficult, I was the last one to hear her speak and those words haunt me – she would not see her first-born grandchild, my eldest, walk down the aisle. Mom died just before the eldest graduated from grade eight.  A year later, my grandmother, who I loved far more than words could ever express left us. I cried, cried, and cried. I didn’t know there were so many tears in me. Ten months later, I had been trying all day to reach my uncle, my mother’s brother who we had always spent Thanksgiving with, but that year we were going camping, only to find out he had passed away unexpectedly. There, at a rest stop, all five of us, my husband, three kids, and I cried. We continued to the campsite, not knowing what else to do. That night, while standing around the campfire, instead of waiting for Thanksgiving day to arrive, we ate the two pumpkin pies I had made. We went home early, another funeral to go to.  Not much later, my father became ill, liver cancer. He lived out the last six months of his life with us. The eldest was now in grade twelve, dad missed her graduation. All three kids, the eldest, middle child in grade ten, and the teenage boy in grade nine were able to say goodbye to their grandfather at the hospital, he died the next day. Two years ago, my dad’s mom passed away, she was ninety-six, she had had a long life.

Present day, another loved one is terminally ill, and to be honest I don’t know if my kids can handle another death. Even though they are older, death is not easy and they have seen a lot of death.