Actually, I was very lucky. My husband helps me do the self-examination. It was he who first mentioned that I had a problem. In the month between his discovery and me getting to my gynecologist, the tumor had grown from something I could barely feel to the size of my thumb. The scary thing was that the ensuing mammogram did not pick up the tumor. They had to do an ultra-sound to "find" what was palpable.
The surgeon did his work between Christmas and New Year's Day, when the company was on annual shutdown. He found and removed two tumors, but only removed three nodes, none of which showed any involvement. My oncologist said that if the one tumor had not been so aggressive, I wouldn't have had to undergo chemotherapy. As it was, I had three rounds of goop shoved into my veins over three months time.
I had my hairdresser shave my head (I looked like my dad from the back.) I didn't get nauseous, but they did have to pump up my white blood count several times. As I say, I was lucky. Things have changed for the better, even in the last few years.
Ladies, do that self-exam every month. Gents, remind your ladies or help them with the self-exam every month. Early discovery is the best defense we have against breast cancer. Note that I have added the Breast Cancer Site to my sidebar. There is a place on the site to click to allow monies to be made available for free mammograms for persons in need.
The word of the day for October 29, 2008 is "mammogram" — Pronunciation:
Etymology: Latin mamma + English -o- + -gram
: a photograph of the breasts made by X-rays ; also : the procedure for producing a mammogram.
Our quote for the day is from Wanda Hamby:
My name is Wanda Hamby. I am hopefully a survivor. I'm in the fighting stage of breast cancer right now. I just had my routine mammogram test done and the result wasn't good. Thus, my doctor requested another one with an ultrasound. They both detected breast cancer in my right breast. I'm just now getting started with treatment plans. I didn't feel any lumps, etc., and neither did my doctor. Those tests literally saved my life. I am fifty-one years old, and I encourage every woman to take control of their lives and get these tests done each year.