Tag Archives: knowledge

That Fateful Mammogram

This essay was originally published on May 26, 2015.

May 24, 2014 was the day I had my first-ever mammogram at age 47. I was flip about it. I told my Facebook friends I was going to do battle with the “hamburger press” for the first time, and afterwards, I said it really wasn’t a big deal. I went for coffee with a new friend. I got a frantic phone call from my doctor at eight o’clock that night advising me to go for more screening. Here we are.

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Chemotherapy Leg Part 10

This essay was originally published on November 13, 2014.

Today is my tenth chemotherapy treatment. Six more left, and it can’t be over with soon enough.

Yesterday, I had lunch with a friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago and did not need chemotherapy or radiation as part of her treatment. We talked about how much we’ve learned since our respective diagnoses, and how ignorant we were about breast cancer before it changed our lives. For example, we both thought breast cancer always meant you had a tumor, or tumors, in your breast(s). She had them, I didn’t. Moreover, neither of us completely understood how serious lymph node involvement is, and how it affects the treatment scenario after surgery. Her cancer hadn’t spread to her lymph nodes; mine did, which is one of the reasons why she didn’t need chemo, and I’m sitting here, accessed, bagged, and dripping.

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