Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Cancer is a six letter word by Barbara Edwards

I have had friends with breast cancer. its difficult for a woman to think about all the ramifications of losing such a significant part of their body. The two years ago I had a lump removed from my left breast. All the worry, fear and anger at not knowing what was going to be the result made me crazy. Thank God the growth was not cancer. There. 

I named the enemy. Cancer.

Then my husband was diagnosed with bladder cancer and went through surgery. Its been six months and he’s gone for his follow-up cat scan. He’s cancer free so far.

So I didn’t want to go for my follow-up. I find the process really uncomfortable and put it off. Then the dog jumped up and bumped my breast with his nose. 

My dog is a 70 pound Belgian Malinois and it hurt. My breast was sore for several weeks and I finally made a doctor appointment to have it checked. I didn’t feel anything- no lump or swelling but I worried. because it hurt. 

As I waited I realized the doctor was going to send me for another mammogram anyway so I made an appointment. As I remembered it was uncomfortable, but i was in and out in an hour. 

Then they called to ask me to come in for a follow up. Deja Vu. There was an area that needed to be magnified. I had another suspicious growth. Darn.
So I’ve had the second done. The doctor showed me my ex-ray for last time from my left breast and compared the new one of my right breast. The same type of cells only in a tight cluster. 

I’ll be going back for a biopsy, then have the area removed if it’s pre-cancerous. 
I’m holding my breath. It’s funny how fear does different things to you. I shut down my imagination. I know what to expect this time, but I’m dreaming about the procedure, what they’ll find. When my husband was undergoing treatment I met women who were going for chemo after surgery. They were such strong, determined women. 

I will do whatever is necessary. 

For my readers: Don’t put off that mammogram. 

I keep wondering if an angel made my dog jump. 

Let me know if you had a coincidence that changed your life.

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Leah St. James said...

Oh, Barbara...praying for the best results for you, and hoping that all is resolved quickly so you can have some peace of mind. Thank goodness for that dog bump! I'm glad you're husband's treatment is working!

Diane Burton said...

Barbara, you (& your husband) are in my thoughts and prayers. Waiting is the worst part. When you know, you can deal. When you don't know . . . We imagine the worst. Both my sisters are breast cancer survivors. No matter what the result, Barb, you will be strong. Because you have to be.

Barbara Edwards said...

Thanks Leah. I swear prayer is the best help and appreciated.

Barbara Edwards said...

Thanks, Diane, for your kind words and prayers.

Rolynn Anderson said...

Barb, you are strong and determined, for sure. You are moving through this process bravely and with your eyes wide open...we expect the same from our characters...conjure our brave heroines! We're rooting for you on the sidelines; keep us up on your progress. Our thoughts are with you!

Vonnie Davis, Author said...

Times like these are scary, Barb. Whether they're for ourselves or our husbands. We're writers because of our powerful imaginations. Unfortunately, those imaginations can run amuck in other areas of our lives--like with potential health issues. Give me a constant ache and I can conjure up a drastic outcome. It's how writers are wired. Still, a very real possibility always exists that's why we go to the doctor as you've done...have the tests like you've done because as writers, we're also intelligent. I'll be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs.

Andrea Downing said...

Barbara, been through all this myself. The annual mammo leading to a call-back I thought was just routine--had them before, never anything. But, no, next the biopsy. Thank God it was pre-cancerous; radiotherapy for 6 weeks with the best doctors and then I flew off to Vegas and the Utah parks for a vacation You get through it and you'll live again fairly normally though I admit it's there niggling in the back of my mind as I go for 6 month mammos now. And I'm amazed when someone tells me they put off the tests, be it the mammo or the dreaded colonoscopy, whatever, because those tests save lives. Battle on, kiddo--you'll make it fine.

Jannine Gallant said...

Strong thoughts headed your way, Barb.I agree it's just plain stupid to put off those mammograms!

Alison Henderson said...

Barb, I'm so sorry you're in the middle of that anxiety again. Even though you know what to expect this time, I'm not sure it helps. You and your husband are in my thoughts and prayers. (And you reminded me I'm due for a mammogram next month. Better get right on that!)

Margo Hoornstra said...

You said it yourself, Barb. "I will do whatever is necessary." From what I can see, it seems the odds are very much in your favor. I've always put a lot of faith in the instincts of animals, too. There are so many breast cancer survivors, my sister-in-law and many friends among them. Bombarding you with positive thoughts and prayers. Keep us informed of your progress.

Alicia Dean said...

I'm so sorry you and your husband are dealing with this. It is a scary word. My best friend of 40 plus years is a breast cancer survivor. Hers was a miracle of sorts, she went to her doctor and even though she wasn't quite due for a mammogram, he suggested she have one. They found a fast-moving cancer, but thank God, caught it in time. She didn't lose a breast, but went through horrendous chemo and radiation. She is 15 years cancer free. Will be sending good thoughts your way.