|Judy, my mother-in-law, but I just call her mom.|
About eight years ago, I had a mammogram. There was a spot, but due to a misunderstanding with an idiot of a doctor, I chose to ignore it. After four years, I found a new family doctor for me and my husband, Jim. This doctor treated me for Jim's problems, and treated Jim for mine. I resumed my hunt for another doctor, once again ignoring the spot in my breast.
Three years ago, the lump in my breast began to grow. Then it started showing on the outside of my breast. I was not going to let this dumb doctor even see it.
Finally, a few weeks ago, I was in a little family restaurant in the Pensacola area. I saw someone I thought I knew, but had not seen for probably 30 years or more. It turned out to be my first cousin Tommy and his wife, Karen, whom I had never met. We sat and talked for hours, and then Karen told me she had two mastectomys. I told Karen of my situation, and she recommended a family doctor. I made Jim and I appointments one hour apart.
Dr. Buckley saw me first, and was taking my history. When she ask me when my last mammogram was, I told her I needed to talk to her about that. I told her about the large lump in my right breast, and that it had started growing on the outside. She took one look and said "Oh My God, You have cancer."
I lost it. I was hoping it was a cyst. She wanted me to have another mammogram. I told her about Karen, and said I wanted to go to the Angel Williamson's Women's Center. She made me an appointment that day and also set me up with and oncologist. Needless to say, my husband did not get to see her for his appointment.
Dr. Angel Williamson was my angel. So caring and so kind. I had the mammogram and an ultra sound. I was told I had a very large tumor.
Then to the oncologist. He told me I did not have a breast, just a large tumor. Next came the scans and biopsy and frozen section. No one would tell me anything. I called Dr. Williamson and told her I was going to have a nervous breakdown if someone did not tell me something. She told me I did not have time to have a nervous breakdown, that I could have one later on down the line, and she sat me up with a PET/CT scan.
I have to tell you here that I have been disabled since I was 30 with crippling arthritis and I have had four back surgeries. I cannot tell you the pain I experienced laying on my back for these scans. The doctors even prescribed 30 mg. morphine. Didn't do a thing. After the scan, the pain was so bad, I could not move from the waist down and the nurses had to literally put me in my wheel chair.
Karen and Tommy and Pastor Ken Cook came to the center, and sat with me and Jim the whole time I was having the PET/CT scan. What a blessing I received when God put these people in my life. I fully believe God arranged my meeting with Tommy and Karen for a reason. They invited us to church, and the church has rallied around Jim and I during this time.
Back to the cancer. We got the results that day, and it was not good. The pain in my back was due to a large tumor. Why did no one find it during all these surgeries? Well, it does not show on an MRI - a PET/CT scan is the only way to find it. We also found out that I had the most common type of breast cancer, but because I chose to ignore it, it had spread. In addition to the large tumor at the bottom of my spine, I also have two smaller tumors in my spine.
I am starting radiation on Tuesday, but it will only shrink the tumor, hopefully 80%. There is no cure, but the radiation will ease my pain, so I will not have to be on morphine any more. (The doctor has upped my morphine to 60 mg, for now) I was told that after the radiation, they can extend my life a few years if I take chemo. But that the chemo will not cure it, and there is no use in having a mastectomy.
I urge all ladies to have that mammogram!
Please, please don't put it off like I did, and go through what I am going through. Ignorance and fear kept me from having mine. One thing I know for sure, and I fully believe it, God is bigger than this cancer and whatever His will, it will be the right thing.
I am asking for prayer for me and for my 82 yr. old husband Jim, who is standing beside me all the way. I see him growing tired and I pray God will give him strength. Jesus is my Rock, and Jim is the love of my life.
|Judy and Jim|
If you notice something different or strange about your breasts, please get it checked out immediately!