It’s been a while since I last shared anything here and I feel I need to explain why. In October I made a doctor’s appointment about a persistent breast lump. I’m used to others coming and going but this one didn’t. Although the GP (family doctor) was fairly confident that it waa a benign cyst he referred me anyway, just to be sure. He was right; however, mammograms at the breast clinic two weeks later showed microcalcifications in another area of the same breast. I understand that these can be part of the natural ageing process, but sometimes they’re a warning sign of early cancer-related changes. After another two weeks, I had a biopsy, followed by lots of bruises and another two week wait for the results.
My Mum came with me and helped me hold things together when I was told that in my case, some changes had showed up and that I was showing signs of DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ). The good news is that it is usually contained and hasn’t necessarily reached a stage when it becomes dangerous. However, it’s likely that it would if left alone…
I was immediately presented with my options for surgery and all three were pretty unpleasant. A few days of reflecting led me to opt for a single mastectomy without immediate reconstruction. This reduces the likelihood of needing radiotherapy (which would have been recommended with breast conserving surgery) and should allow me to recover as quickly as possible. That is due to happen this week.
I’m scared but hopeful. It’s likely to be treatable, even curable, but I’ll have to live with a changed body for the rest of my days at the very least. It’s my faith in God and my hope in Him that is keeping me going. My hope is that somehow He would be glorified in all of this, although it’s hard to see that just now. Friends and family have been wonderful in supporting, loving and praying for me and with me.
Sewing has been helping too. I’ve made pyjamas, two bras and four heart shaped cushions – one for me and three for friends who are also facing breast surgery soon. Learning to sew pockets into bras for a prosthesis has been a good test of my skills and will help me offer support to others.
I’ll share a few pictures of my bra sewing in progress and leave it at this for now. Once I’m recovering I’ll be back to tell you more about how things are going. Don’t be afraid for me, but please be aware if your own body, whatever shape it may take, and if something makes you feel uncertain, get it checked!
Wishing you a happy, healthy New Year.