Thursday, April 18, 2019

Why Breastscreening Is Really Worth the Effort

This is a post I wrote the week after my yearly breast cancer checkup. I have decided to share it in the hope it will be of help to someone out there dealing with this all too common issue.

I tried to write this blog post last week but couldn't. It was the week before my yearly checkup for breast cancer and I had writer's block..

Healing Canvas Print featuring the painting The Healing by Winsome Gunning
The Healing Canvas Print from original artwork by Winsome Gunning

That day still brings up so many  emotional memories and I look back and wonder how I did what I had to do.

One of the staff at the medical center said to me as she completed her testing not many people hear good stories like yours they just hear bad breast cancer experiences.

So today I am trying again to give a brief summary of my journey.

In short I have had three separate or concurrent breast cancers the first now twenty seven years ago, the second nineteen years ago and the third eleven years ago., yes finally I am considered stable but not stable enough to skip my yearly checkup.

Bird Canvas Print featuring the painting Waiting by Winsome Gunning
The Waiting Canvas Print from original artwork by Winsome Gunning

Each of these cancers was caught early due to vigilant testing.

It really is tough fronting up to those regular checkups as you will have gathered from the beginning of this post but I know without them I would not be healthy and well today, in fact I have never felt better.

I am as nervous as anyone when going to be tested and each time I have had a positive diagnosis I have been a teary mess but then the let's get well energy has kicked in and I have got on with what I considered the best medical advise.

For me this consisted of three partial mastectomies followed each time by six weeks of radiation treatment and hormone treatments. I reacted to both the first two hormone treatments after approximately two years and came off them but the third treatment really suited my body and I still take it today.

Today with the amazing new technologies and wide choices of drugs for individual breast cancers the diagnosis for cancer is quite a different experience to what it has been in the past.

But even last week as I waited for my results after being called back for extra testing, a technical point, I was surprised at the emotions I experienced and remembered some of the wide variety of feelings and vulnerabilities being a patient  can make you feel.

Anyway I got good news and a renewed passion for the sustainable lifestyle I share here on this blog and which along with excellent medical advances has created for me twenty seven years after my first diagnosis a healthy body and a passion for life.

Garden Canvas Print featuring the painting Garden Of Joy by Winsome Gunning
The Garden of Joy Canvas Print from original artwork by Winsome Gunning