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When Breast Cancer Hits Home
I can remember exactly where I was standing when my mom called me to tell me she had to go back in for a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound that something looked suspicious.
I have worked in the Breast Cancer space for the last 11 years working with breast surgeons, plastic surgeons, radiologists, radiation oncologists, but never did I ever expect for breast cancer to come knocking on my Mom’s door!
When we went for the Ultrasound, my heart sank when I saw so clearly what appeared to be a small breast cancer in my mother’s breast. It is odd how your mind plays with you, as I have seen that image throughout most of my career, and yet I was standing there saying, “maybe it is not cancer or maybe it’s something else.”
I comforted my mom as she was scheduled next for a breast biopsy, telling her we really don’t know anything until we get the pathology back.
I was with her every step of the way thinking we got this! I held her hand in the biopsy room as the radiologist took her biopsy. I sat with her in the breast surgeon’s office when she explained to my mom that it was breast cancer indeed. I could see that my mom’s face was in denial when she heard the news. It was as if she just could not process the news. Nothing that the surgeon was saying was sticking in her head.
Surgery was scheduled for a lumpectomy with whole breast radiation to follow and once completed she would see a medical oncologist. On the day of the surgery the anesthesiologist, that I have worked with in the past, along with the breast surgeon came to pre op to get her.
I must say when they wheeled her off, I knew that she was in good hands because I had been in surgery cases with both of them in the past.
However, I could not help but think about other families that are not in the medical field and who do not know the doctors as well as I do, and just how paralyzing and traumatic this would be for them as this is such an unknown area for so many women and their families.
Mom pulled through the surgery just fine and when it was time to meet the radiation oncologist, she was more confident than ever to fight this and win!
My mom’s surgery was in Jan 2019 and I continue to walk with her in this journey as she has walked with me in my journey of life. We will go together in December of 2019 to get her follow up mammogram and will hope to see a clean mammogram with NO cancer!
Ladies and Guys, I can’t express just how important is to remind women all around you to get their annual mammogram.
My Mom had her mammogram just last year and this cancer showed up. I on the other hand am in the industry and had skipped a year and it was a co-worker who I now call my bosom buddy that hounded me to get my mammogram which I am so thankful.
You see in the Mammo world when you miss a year it is considered 2 years behind. Don’t let this simple test take the life of a loved one so dear to you!
I get to say happy Mother’s Day and I love you mom still today because she went to get her 3D Mammogram!
I love you Mom!
(3) Pisano et al. Diagnostic Performance of Digital versus Film Mammography for Breast –Cancer Screening. NEJM 2005;353:1773.