Tuesday, July 14, 2020

This post has nothing to do with quilting, but it's an important part of what's been happening in my life over the last 2 months, and it may inspire other people to take care of themselves.

Here in Australia we have a Breast Screening program that provides free mammograms every 2 years.  There are screening buses that travel all through rural South Australia, so there's no excuse not to attend. Mereth and I have always kept those appointments, because we lost our Mum to breast cancer in 2006. However, at the time of my last appointment I was in Adelaide, and then I didn't make a new appointment, and then Finn, and Covid and.....

At a doctor's appointment for something entirely different I mentioned that I hadn't had my last mammogram, and also that on occasion I'd noticed spots of blood in my bra.  Well that's not good, she said, and arranged an appointment for a mammogram at an Adelaide hospital.  I had the mammogram, and an ultrasound, and both showed nothing, but the doctor said We really need to investigate this blood discharge, because it's not normal.  I was scheduled for a biopsy a week later, under general anaesthetic, and that wasn't fun,but it wasn't too awful either. I did think that there was an awful lot of bruising for a biopsy and it was a large incision

When I went back two weeks later I was a bit astonished to be told that the pathology came back as cancerous; up until then I'd sort of felt I was wasting their time and there was nothing wrong. The doctor said I wasn't to worry because they had removed all the tissue they deemed to be abnormal, and it was good that they'd caught it so early. I was glad that they didn't go on with the biopsy, wait for the results, and then schedule another surgery; it was much better to just have the one operation. I will have an MRI in three months time to make sure that there is no recurrence, and regular checkups to make sure I'm OK.

I am most grateful for our Medicare system here; the four consultations, the mammogram and ultrasound, the surgery and a night in a care facility cost me nothing.  I paid $16 to leave my car in the hospital carpark overnight. While I'm still a bit shocked at the speed of it all, and the "You had cancer and now you don't" statement, at least I don't have medical bills to take care of.

If I had been wearing my black bra I would never have noticed the little spots of blood, which was the only symptom;  nothing showed up in the mammogram or the ultrasound.  When it was large enough to show up on a mammogram it would have meant more invasive surgery to remove it. From now on I'll wear a light coloured bra, I'll have a mammogram every year, and I won't ignore even the slightest thing out of the ordinary. Fingers crossed that the MRI in 3 months time is clear.

13 comments:

Brenda 4:48 AM  

So happy you caught it early.

julieQ 5:23 AM  

OH Keryn! How scary and how fast, all at the same time! I am grateful for your light colored bra and that you knew to get it checked. So glad that they got the cancer out fast!

Dianne 3:07 PM  

So glad you caught this early, and happy they were able to get it all. Australians are SO lucky to have the health care system we have here! Sending hugs and best wishes. Stay safe!

Karen in Breezy Point 3:59 PM  

Thank goodness you mentioned this to your doctor and things were taken care of so quickly! I’m due for my mammogram later this month—I’ll be sure to do it!

qypsyquilterdesigns 4:36 PM  

I'm so very glad it was caught early and you're doing okay. Thanks for letting us know.

Donna M 8:45 PM  

Oh, goodness. So glad you mentioned the blood to your doctor. Wishing you fast recovery.

Mary Johnson 10:07 PM  

Glad to hear you caught it early and that they were able to remove it all. Hoping the follow up goes well. I have a strong family history of breast cancer too and I’ve tried to be good about getting my mammograms but I was surprised with an unexpected cancer diagnosis a couple years ago - mine was thyroid cancer. I’m still dealing with the side effects of my treatment but it could have been worse so I’m lucky.

Unknown 10:17 PM  

So very happy that your outcome was good and also that we live in a country where medical outcomes aren't reliant on income.
God bless Australia ❤

Suzanne 5:10 AM  

Thanks for telling us about your experience. Very glad to hear you had such a positive outcome! Suzanne

Rose Marie 4:11 AM  

Someone precious was looking down and taking care of you! So glad to hear you caught it early.

Cherie in St Louis 1:34 PM  

What a blessing you caught it so quickly. Such a scary thing having lost your mother to breast cancer, I'm sure you were very worried.

jude's page 12:57 PM  

Thankfully you got early diagnosis, it does help. I have had 12 years all clear now, so will pray for you also, and yes I am also very happy to be living in Australia. Thankyou for telling us.

sewyouquilt2 6:09 AM  

So glad your outcome was good. Praying for you. In a way good thing it was quick and get er done. Someone was definitely watching over you. Hugs.

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