Chicks with Bad Boobs Who Ride Bikes - Part 1
Well, I have bad boobs…
As I sit here and reflect on my last 6months, I feel really lucky. Let me take you back to November last year, I was getting my normal annual check-up and got my boobs checked by the GP. As I looked around - trying not to make eye contact with the GP while she poked, prodded and squished my boobs, I saw a worrying look of concern cross her face.
The next words were, “Hmmmm there is a bit of a suspicious lump there, we need to get that checked.” Ok I thought, no big deal, did a bit of Dr Googling and decided that the numbers were on my side and it was probably nothing. I am only 43 years old, no one in my family has breast cancer so I’ll be ok, right? Next step was a mammogram. Which is interesting and disturbing at the same time. I never knew my boobs could be squashed like that. (But for those playing along, it doesn’t hurt much - it just feels a bit weird) So far so good I thought. Then then they took me into the next room where I get a needle biopsy.
At this point it all starts to go down the shitter.The doctor tells me I have multiple lumps, and the evidence on the mammogram does not look great. She collects multiple samples, and tries to make me feel better. But at this point I start crying and hope that I am not going to die. Fuck, I don’t want to die. Well fuck the numbers, they are not on my side so far. We wait for a week, and go back to the GP who confirms that it is indeed a shit situation.
I’m crying, my husband is crying, and once again I really, really, really don’t want to die.
The GP won’t commit to anything, its like she refuses to let me know WTF is going on. I understand now that she couldn’t, but at the time it felt like she wouldn’t tell me anything. I get an appointment with an amazing breast surgeon the same day. He. Is. AMAZING. Within 2 weeks I am booked in for a bilateral mastectomy and will start chemotherapy 1 month later. I love a plan, data, peer reviewed articles and science, so I have now come full circle and am liking my numbers again.
By having a bilateral mastectomy, having 6 rounds of chemo (3 drugs), going into early menopause and having another drug (targeted breast cancer killer drug) for the rest of the year I take my 10 year survival numbers from 88% to 95%. So the number are back on my side. I am back in control and feel like we can sort it out. So my amazing women, please, please, please take the time to look after yourselves. Get your PAP smears, get your boobs checked - no matter how young you are.
Get your skin checks, go to the dentist get your eyes checked. Do the things you need to do to ensure you can live a long and healthy life. If you have a doctor that won’t check your boobs, find someone who will, don’t take no for an answer. We are the care givers, often put everyone else first, but today is the day I ask you to take a day off, take a sick day and go and get yourself checked over. DO NOT take no for an answer from your GP if you want a mammogram insist on getting one. To support Breast Cancer research go to https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/ride-pink-the-downhill-for-breast-cancer-project/donations to donate :-)
~ Jules Harris, Guest Blogger