In 1988, my 4th oldest sibling, sister June, was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. June had felt the lump almost a year prior, but was told not to worry, it’s fibroids. Although she continued to complain about the lump, no doctor would perform a mammogram. June died February 28, 1990, losing her battle with breast cancer. We were very cautious, getting our mammograms every year and doing self exams. In 1998, my oldest sister Gloria had her right breast removed because of re-occurring lumps in her breast. After being on Tamoxifin for 5 years, Gloria found another lump, this time in the left breast. The lump was found and removed February 2002, chemo treatments followed to no avail, and Gloria passed away August 22, 2002. On that same day I had an appointment to have a mammogram done. The doctor said that he found at least 11 lumps in the left breast and suggested that I have that breast removed. It was also suggested that in light of the fact that my sister had died that morning from breast cancer, that I might want to consider having them both removed.
After going to see a sea of doctors to determine what should be done, who should do it, and what would be done afterward, surgery was finally scheduled for October 30, 2002. After being home a few days, I received a call from the 1st surgeon to inform me that cancer was found in the right breast and that the 11 lumps in the left breast were all benign.
Had Gloria not passed away, I might not have elected to have the bi-lateral and would have had a longer fight ahead. This, of course, is a short version of the story, but you get the picture.
I tell people all the time, if there is something there that shouldn’t be there, get it out.