The big “C”

Todays post could turn out to be a public information bulletin, I’m just going to write and see how it comes out. The reason I had to ask permission from members of my family before I wrote this is because a lot of this is going to be about them. Todays story starts a few years ago when my Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer, at the age of 44, it was while my Dad was having chemotherapy for his leukaemia so she took the brave decision have a mastectomy rather than her own dose of chemotherapy/radiotherapy so she could continue to care for him. She was lucky, it was caught early because she was having a problem with the other breast, as a routine they checked both and discovered “ductal carcinoma in situ”, which essentially means that it was still sitting in the breast rather than wandering off to the lymph glands. Fortunately, because it was caught early, my Mum is now ok.

Spin forwards now to spring this year, my aunt (Brenda) is in the shower and notices a lump which wasn’t there before, after various biopsies she too has been diagnosed with ductal carcinoma. Brenda’s had already started moving so she’s currently in the middle of chemotherapy before her consultant decides what to do next. The good news is that the treatment appears to be doing it’s job, the lump has shrunk from the size of a tangerine to the size of a marble. All we can do now is keep our fingers crossed that it continues to respond as well as it has.

Armed with the information that both my Mum and my Aunt got the same type of cancer in the same breast at the same age I went to my GP. I’ve been up to my local hospital today and have now been refered to another hospital for genetic typing. I am well aware that the outcome of these tests will affect any insurance I want to take out but as it was more by luck than judgement that my Mum and Aunt discovered theirs I’d rather have the information so I can deal with it before it happens… does that make sense? So now I wait for my next appointment.

Both my Mum and my Aunt have been truly inspirational, my Mum continued to care for my Dad and my Aunt is using her shiny bald head to raise money for macmillan nurses. Despite the fact that by it’s very nature chemotherapy makes you iller than you were before Brenda carries on, she goes out and goes to work with her lack of hair not making a difference to the proud and beautiful woman that she is. Of course she has days where the chemicals running through her body make it hard to move from the sofa but she carries on. The courage that both Brenda and her children have shown makes me realise how petty some of my concerns are.

One in eight women will get some form of breast cancer, people like Anastacia and Kylie Minogue show that it’s not just something you need to worry about as you get older. It’s easy when you’re my age to put it to the back of your mind, but surely we should all be more aware of our bodies. If you’re unsure how to check your own breasts ask your GP or practice nurse next time you’re there, they’re surprisingly helpful. As with all medical things both male and female if something’s not right – get it checked out!

Hugs and kisses to you all xxx


~ by Laura on July 3, 2007.

9 Responses to “The big “C””

  1. Although you mention that genetic testing will affect insurance, there is currently an agreement that insurers will not use genetic tests to modify insurance requirements until 2012 at the earliest.

  2. Just wanted to say that this loyal reader wishes you and you yours all the best

  3. i want to say the same as kat. and i hope you and your family live long and happy lives.

  4. hope that for you and yours all will be well.

  5. Thinking of you, and I simply want to say the same as Kat, Dave and everyone else xxx

  6. Without hesitation, my thoughts (like all your other commenters) are with you and your family at this time of trial. I hope that your test gives you and your GP some useful information that will make a positive contribution to your life.

    Thank you for making me think about this sort of issue … just off for a quick check now!

  7. Best of luck and I hope you are clear and stay that way!

  8. xxxxxxxxxxx and hugs hugs hugs

  9. Like all the other wonderful people here, I too wish you and yours the very best. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
    I have found numerous lumps over the years and immediately go straight my GP for a check up. Luckily they tend to be a blocked milk duct or a cyst and a course of Anti-Biotics do the trick. But I never take it for granted that’s what the new lump is.
    You’re doing the right thing, for peace of mind alone. Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: