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Stuttering Shell: CHECKING ON THE GIRLS?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I'm going to see my oncologist tomorrow.

I haven't seen him in a couple years...I haven't had to. But, I'm going to visit him tomorrow to talk. To talk to him about what my options are and what he feels is best for me to do as an almost 32 year old woman who hails from a family with a history of breast cancer. My mom's sister died from it. My mom fought the battle with it just over two years ago. She lost a breast, but she won. I'm already playing with fire because I have a higher risk of developing cervical cancer than most women. Two surgeries by two (gynecological) oncologists in the last eight years might not seem like much to most, but seeing as how cancer - and not just breast cancer - has taken so many from my family, well, I feel like I need to do something.

For me personally, doing a monthly breast exam just doesn't seem reassuring enough. I don't know if genetic testing is in my future. My mother, oddly enough, doesn't think that I should do it and really doesn't think that it will be offered to me (her genetic testing was done AFTER her diagnosis of breast cancer and, wouldn't you know it, her test came back inconclusive). I've always said that you'll never know a thing if you don't ever that is what I'm going to do tomorrow. Ask. Ask questions. Ask many questions. I don't necessarily like the idea of having a way to find out my fate, but in a situation like this I'd rather not be blind-sided by my own body.

Update since the appointment:
I meet with a genetic counselor next month. My parents will be attending the appointment with me. Hopefully, we'll know more about what my options are once we meet with the counselor.

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Blogger Jackie said...

You know I will answer ANYTHING! I've been there... BRCA 1+, cancer scare, surgeries... I have a lot of info and support so please feel free to ask.


Apr 22, 2009, 1:35:00 AM  
Blogger becca greene said...

good luck my dearie. are they having you get regular mammograms already? because i will tell you that seemed to be my doctors only solution for me. and nothing made me feel less secure than having an ob/gyn, who i never saw again after this incident, tell me that i had so many cysts in my breast that it would be impossible to tell from a breast exam whether or not i had a lump. and, then, she made me feel even less comfortable by saying in a completely surprised voice, my god there must be like a hundred cysts in there. gee thanks. i thought having a woman feel up my breast while i am in a flimsy gown was degrading enough. no, now i get to be filled with a mix of doubt, fear, and self loathing. thanks.
i understand your fears. i am high risk for cervical cancer. they started giving me internal sonograms at 18 out of concern for my risks to my ovaries too. lets just say having an ob/gyn that i feel comfortable with is important.
several years ago, i got the call all women dread in the worst way possible. i had been to the ob/gyn earlier that week. they had the audacity to leave a vm on a friday afternoon saying in the message i had an abnormal pap smear. and, when i got the vm it was too late to get in touch with the office. so, i had to wait all weekend. luckily, it was not the big c word. but still. evil i tell you it was evil. and, i was lucky to have had any hair left on my head after that weekend.

Apr 22, 2009, 3:32:00 AM  
Blogger Melanie said...

Please do let us know how the appointment went. I am in the same situation and have often thought about what should I "DO" if anything. My grandmother and aunt on my Dad's side had breast cancer. My aunt on my Mom's side had breast cancer. And well, my Mom died several months ago from some unknown cancer.

Apr 22, 2009, 7:40:00 AM  
Blogger Tamra said...

Stopping by from Mom Logic - Being proactive in your health care is the best form of prevention. Ask your questions and then ask more. Good for you for taking your health care into your own hands!

Apr 23, 2009, 9:44:00 AM  
Blogger Sassypants Wifey said...

Stopping by to wish you luck. I totally have you as my Mom swap givee! Hit me up and we can chatty!

Apr 23, 2009, 5:06:00 PM  
Blogger Shell said...

Thanks gals for the support! The appointment went well...and I even survived a trip to the OB/GYN and the dentist, too! Whew...three appointments to three different doctors in less than 24 hours!

Apr 23, 2009, 10:40:00 PM  

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