Wednesday, August 20, 2008

From a Friend....

My friend Amy sent this and I had to share. Please pass it on.

My Reasons

Do you do them? Do you do those monthly breast self-exams? If not, heck even if you do, please read on for the best reasons ever to do them.

Don’t think you’re a candidate for breast cancer…… keep reading!

I just turned 36 in June. I eat organic food. I don’t smoke. I use only natural household cleaners and personal care products. I abolished plastic from my home. I breastfed each of my two children for a year. There is no family history of breast cancer.

Ask any of my friends and family who they think is the least likely person to get breast cancer - they’ll tell you it’s me. We were all wrong.

Like so many women out there, I rarely did breast self-exams. Why would I? I would never get breast cancer. Then one day, just two weeks before I turned 36, I was in the shower and I felt it. I stood there frozen. I felt again. There was really something there. And it wasn’t small. How could something so big be there without me noticing it before? It couldn’t be cancer, it was too big. I would have felt it before.

I got my cousin, a nurse, to feel it. Most likely a cyst, but have it checked. So I go to the Doctor to have it checked. Most likely a cyst, but lets send you for an ultrasound and mammogram. Ultrasound shows that it is not a cyst, it’s a solid mass. Off for a biopsy. The Doctor who does the biopsy tells me that funny things happen to women’s breasts when they are breastfeeding (I was still breastfeeding my son). He thinks that’s what happening here, but can’t say for sure until they get the pathology results.

Pathology results: Its cancer. Off to see a surgeon. It’s also in the lymph nodes. Not good. Off to see the Oncologist. Lymph nodes affected on the other side. Really not good. Off for a lung x-ray, bone scan, liver ultrasound, MRI, PET Scan, and another biopsy. Start Chemo. Yuck!

Well chemo isn’t really all that bad. As long as you don’t mind needles. My chemo is called DDACT - Dose Dense ACT. The strongest there is. Goodie! Kill the cancer. I go once every 2 weeks and they hook me up with an IV, after drawing blood and check to see that my blood counts are ok. Then there’s all the anti-nausea meds, which do help with the nausea, but they make you constipated, and you still don’t feel like eating anything. And you’re tired - that’s the chemo. And then there’s the steroid they give you for a couple of days after the chemo. It’s supposed to stimulate your appetite. That doesn’t work. But it sure sends you on a hell of an emotional rollercoaster after you stop taking it!

And let’s not forget the daily injections of neupogen, to help stimulate my bone marrow to make more white blood cells. Need white blood cells to fight off infection. Chemo kills your immune system. So you can’t be around anyone who’s sick. Like your kids. The neupogen makes my bones ache. Really ache. Like no ache I’ve ever felt before.

And my particular type of Chemo makes you lose your hair. I still have it, but I am told that it will only be about another week. No maybes. I already cut it all off because I didn’t want my three year old daughter to see long clumps of hair falling out. And if I’m lucky, the cancer will be Estrogen positive, so they can give me Tomixifen to block the Estrogen receptor sites. Tomixifen, which will make me go through menopause on top of everything else.

After the chemo is over, I will have to have a mastectomy, then 5 weeks of radiation - 5 weeks, 5 days a week. Then another 16 weeks of chemo. And if you think these are the reasons I’m giving you to do your self-breast exams, they’re not. And it’s also not because I want you to avoid the heartbreak of telling your parents that you have cancer and watching their hearts break because their baby has cancer. And it’s not because I don’t want you to have to sit in an Oncologist’s office and watch your husband burst into tears when they hand him a book called “What happened to Mommy’s Hair” to read to your children. Of course, I don’t want anybody to have to go through those things, but they’re not the reason’s I’m telling you to do the exams.

It’s because worse than any of the tests, the needles, the drugs, their side-effects, or the tears, is your mind. When you lie in bed at night and think about your children (I have a three year old daughter and a one year old son), and think that there is a of the possibility that you won’t see them grow up, that you won’t be there for them, that at one and three they probably won’t even remember you, you’ll just be some woman in a picture that everyone says is their mommy. It’s the thought of your husband getting remarried and that you’ll be replaced with a new mommy, one that didn’t die.So do it for them. Do it for those beautiful babes that you tuck in each night and kiss ever-so gently. Your beautiful babes that need their mommy to guide them and love them. Your beautiful babes. Do it for them. Do it now.

So here's the deal. Do your exam and then post a picture(s) of your reasons for everyone to see!I have also stared a website below. Please forward it to everyone you know.

http://shelleyschulte.tripod.com/index.html
Thanks
Shelley

1 comment:

Roger, Amanda, Karys and Hannah said...

Great entry! I've been follwing your blog for a long time. Got it from Grandma but I'm not sure I ever posted a comment. Just wanted to let you know that we are in the metroplex, so when you're here for the 3-D, call on us if you need anything.

Love,
Amanda (Liner) Walls