Family history? Not me!
Thursday, December 26, 2013
So, my mother is a third-generation breast cancer survivor. Last year, she was diagnosed with stage 1 aggressive breast cancer.
So naturally, I've been doing regular self-exams. We almost certainly have the gene, although we can't afford the expensive genetic testing to find out.
About three months ago, I found a lump.
I told my husband. He wanted me to get it checked out immediately. Unfortunately, I don't have insurance, so getting diagnostic stuff like that under 40 is nearly impossible. I called the local health department, and was brushed off.
Finally, while visiting my mom, she made me make an appointment at her local health department. They're smaller, and nicer than the one in my county.
The nurse found the lump, too. She couldn't find any funding to get me a mammogram, though. She was concerned enough to give me a list of people to call in my city. I found someone who would see me for $100.
I paid, and today I went. The nurse practitioner who did my CBE (clinical breast exam) found not one, but two lumps.
So she gave me a voucher for a free mammogram.
Do I have cancer? I'm only 34. But I have a very strong family history. My mother, my grandmother (single mastectomy) and my great grandmother (double mastectomy.) I'm keeping an optimistic attitude (I'm only 34, the odds are it's just a benign lump) but given my family history, I don't dare take the chance. I let it go too long as it is; it's a visible lump, and when I raise my arms, I can see it.
So, say a little prayer for me.