There are so many posts about the topic but I thought I would share my experience with you.
So many of you must be wondering why I’ve changed my background and avatars, those who are my friends on Face book, must have noticed that too. Well, here is the story and why I am in support of Breast Cancer awareness.
Almost seven years ago I had my 21st birthday, and like any 21st it was memorable. I remember going to Gold Reef City with the Radio Presenters I was working with at the time, I screamed my lungs out on the Anaconda, that night my family took me to dinner. We were all together having fun and it was the start of the rest of my life. The next day was the party and I remember my Mom dancing up a storm with us youngsters. Let’s face it my 21stbirthday was a memorable one, even if I did have a jumping castle and an ice cream cake.
But the post isn’t about that.
It was only a few days after my birthday that my Mom phoned me to work.
“Scarlet” she said. “I think something is wrong”.
I recall her telling me that she had fluid dripping out of her nipple, no lumps, but I remember telling her in a calm voice, to make an appointment with the Doctor.
I couldn’t take off, but she went and phoned me.
“They are sending me for a mammogram and have taken samples of the liquid.”
The mammogram hurt terribly she says, mostly because her breast was tender and sensitive, but after that they sent her for a scan/sonar of the breast as well.
I remember sitting at work, when the phone rang. “Scarlet, they think its Cancer”.
It was then that I was faced with one of my worst fears. My Mom could die.
It turned out that the liquid had aggressive cancer cells in and they need to do a mastectomy on the right breast immediately. They couldn’t do the usual biopsy because if the cancer cells broke through the nipple tissue to the back of the breast they weren’t sure how quickly it would spread. At 58 my Mom was the healthiest women alive and only went to hospital to have us kids. We heard the news on the 26th of November and on 1 December they were wheeling my Mom into the operating theatre.
We had a lovely lady from Reach for Recovery come to our house before the operation. She was a Breast Cancer Survivor and came to chat to us about what to expect and answered all our questions.
I remember after the operation of being over protective of my Mom, I did everything, from making food to helping her with the drainage bottle. However, then the Doctor phoned again, because of the aggressiveness of the cancer, she needed to have the remaining breast removed as well, and that happened on the 10th of December.
They gave my Mom radiation after the surgery and put her on Tomoxifen, which is a hormonal treatment drug, which she had to drink everyday for five years. In the beginning she would see the Oncologist every two weeks, then every two months, and then every six months and now it is a yearly check up.
My Mom is a breast cancer survivor; she is in remission now and that thanks to early detection. Like I said before, she never had lumps or sensitivity or anything. To this day I am so glad she listened to me and went to the Doctor.
However, now I have to go for check ups on a regular basis, but that is fine with me. I did have a ‘scare’ at the beginning of the year, but it was all okay.
Anyways, people who meet my Mom now, don’t know about her cancer and when they do find out they are shocked, mainly because she fought it and if you see her today, you won’t say she was ill at all. I did ask her about implants and she said, why go through all that pain, because your body might reject them. She has tried the prosthetic ones, but she says it hurts. So, I am the only one in our household with breasts, she lives with the scars from the mastectomy everyday, she still is not allowed to drive, or carry heavy things, so I do it. It’s become a way of life for us.
I am proud of my Mom, of all that she has been through and that she still is standing. Not letting this experience get her down. She is one of the lucky ones, because there are women out there who do lose their battle with it.
So, that’s my life experience and now you know why I’m in support of Breast Cancer Awareness.