It is more important to know where you are going, than how long it takes to get there.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

No Watching...

Yesterday I received a phone call from a friend who was just diagnosed with breast cancer.  I could tell that she was swirling in her own personal tornado.  I experienced the same personal weather event when I learned about my cancer.  It is a very strange feeling, and our conversation brought it back, even after two years.  It is like you are walking, but your feet can't find traction because you are a few inches off the ground.

After we talked a little, I discovered that her surgeon has been "watching" this growth in her breast for two years.  Her surgeon wanted to wait and see if the growth changes.  Her surgeon never biopsied this growth, until two years later, afater it blew up into cancer.  Would you believe that I have heard similar stories from other women?  As a matter of fact, my mom has a very good friend, who many years ago had the best care from a highly-regarded physician in Northern California, and he decided to just "watch her lump."   Guess what?  The lump turned into full-blown breast cancer that resulted in a mastectomy with horrible complications.  This make me crazy! 

Okay ladies....If a doctor says that he/she wants to "wait and watch" your lump or foreign matter in your breast, you tell your doctor to "wait and watch" as you walk out the door to find another doctor!  Demand a biopsy!  Demand to have it removed!  Biopsies don't hurt, and they don't take much time in comparison to cancer treatment. Insurance companies would rather pay for a biopsy and early removal than full-blown cancer treatments.  Thriteen years ago, before Molly was born, I demanded that a lump be removed from my left breast when the surgeon told me it was "nothing," just a calcified growth.  How can something be nothing?  Something is something, and it can turn into something worse.  My lump wasn't cancerous, but how does anyone know that it wouldn't have become cancer?  Ladies, doctors do not have crystal balls that can tell if something becomes cancer! (Although some act like they do.  Run away from these doctors!  Don't walk, run!) Take ownership of your care, and demand the biopsy and removal!  The only way that you can be 100% guaranteed that you will not get breast cancer from this foregin matter is by having it removed!  Period.

Deep breath, Keval.  Deep breaths.

Whacky thought for the day...
Why are the ends of bread loaves called heals?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Conspiracy Theory...

One interesting thing about cancer is that many people outside the medical field without cancer treatment experience,  have very strong opinions about treatment, testing, medications, wigs,  and other related items.  I have no problem with people sharing their opinions because if I don't agree, I just tune them out and work on a mental grocery list or other very important items.  However, yesterday, someone who has never had breast cancer, shared her theory of cancer with me, and I was absolutely shocked!  I do not know from what planet she comes, but she was way, way, way off base. 

Let me set up the situation for the conversation...
Yesterday I walked around town for 6 hours, following up on letters I sent to local businesses about donating to the American Cancer Society via 50 SHADES OF PINK.  So far I have donations from 18 business in Manchester and Essex:  Allen's Pharmacy, Cala's, Christine's Coffee Cup, Costello Construction, Cross Towing,  Found Objects, Four Season's Cleaners, The Landing,  Logue Insurance, Mahri's, Manchester Electric, Manchester Hardware, Mimi, Nor'east Cleaners, Remco Corporation, Standley's Garage, The White Lilac, and Zak's.  In most cases, it was fun to stop and chat with different people.  In 6 hours, I only covered 23 of 70 business, and this was without a break.  As you can surmise, some stops entailed a serious volume of chat.

Naturally, at all the businesses I had a cancer-related conversation.  One woman I spoke to told me that she does not believe in mammograms because they are often the cause of cancer.  Logically, I though she was concerned about the radiation from the x-ray.  But when I asked about radiation concerns, she said no, that it was the pressure of the plates during the mammogram that can cause cancer.  What? - I thought  "Really, are you kidding?"  Then she drifted way beyond left field when she told me that some believe there is a conspiracy theory behind cancer, and that doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies are"in it" together.  What? What?? What???  She actually believes that cures for cancer have not been discovered because there is too much money involved.  What????  Inside I was thinking, "You are a total whack job!  Please don't spread these complete lies to others because someone even more crazy than your might actually believe your crap."  Outside I said, "I believe that my oncologist, radiation oncologist, and surgeons would be thrilled if they had fewer patients due to discoveries of cures."  Then I slowly backed away.  And, by the way, she did not donate to the American Cancer Society...probably because they are at the ring leader of this whole cancer conspiracy.

Whacky thought of the day...
What do you do when someone says something totally outrageous and crazy?  Do you challenge them, or do you realize that crazy people are just crazy, so you say nothing?