If you’re one of those women who have either homogeneously dense or extremely dense breasts, take a read of this downloadable PDF. And if you’re not diagnosed yet or haven’t had a yearly 3-D mammogram and you’re aware of your breast density bring this with you to your next GP or OBGYN appointment. Or better yet make an appointment to discuss your concerns. If you don’t know your breast density find out. Especially if you have a family history of breast cancer.
When I was diagnosed in 2015 my 2012 mammogram results came back as “inconclusive.” Completely ignorant to breast density or what it even meant to my high chances of getting a stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis I wasn’t given an explanation or sent for a follow up ultrasound. The sensitivity of equipment now available 15 years later might have saved me from a terminal diagnosis- and it might save you or someone in your family if you have it. Or your mother. Or aunt, grandmother or cousin. Because we don’t know exactly how the genetics truly work to our disadvantage. My father probably carried his mother’s genes. And gave them innocently to me when I was conceived. I suppose while not one single physician takes this close genetic line into their notes anywhere, that in and of itself is pretty ridiculous.
My grandmother had Graves’ disease of the thyroid. I have Graves’ disease of the thyroid. My grandmother died from stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. I will die from stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. I betcha she had heterogeneously dense breasts, but I can’t recall giving them a squeeze although she loved me like I was her moon, stars and sun.
Love can be passed on from generations without skipping a generation because my dad loved me the same way. He died of inoperable brain cancer in 2013. I hope 10 years later I won’t die from cancer too, but it’s crossed my mind as I get more exhausted, more effected by each new medication, chemo, or radiation treatment I’ve had. This time of my life is one I won’t be able to overcome, it will overcome me instead.
But for now, if this information saves one person my fate, then I’m radically changed because just sharing information as widely as possible can have exponential effects. I’d like to think it’s quietly helped someone, somewhere. No need to ever know – but be someone’s quiet hero and disseminate as much information as you can. The life you save may be unknown, but it’s another life not lived with the agony’s of metastatic breast cancer.
#fuckcancer really. Fuck cancer. I hate it every day and I hate losing people I care about and the people it stole from me way too early. My grandmother was only 62 when she died. Dad was only 71 and a young 71 still hiking the grand Teton mountains- which was the trip we never got to take, his tickets sat unused in his office when I was left to clean up the personal, “valueless” effects like pictures and papers and letters and cards.
I’ll never know grandchildren and I’ll never have been a biological parent. But I hope I can get this out so someone else can know the love that I’ll never know.
But love to you, my dear readers and friends. “Live long and prosper.”