If you have been following my blog, you know that my sister Gail and I do almost everything together. Here we are at a quilt retreat last May in Susanville. With my sister's permission, I'm going to relate her story.
Eleven years ago Gail was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a double mastectomy to rid herself of this insidious cancer. At the time, through genetic testing, chemotherapy was ruled out, as she wouldn't benefit from it. She also didn't have radiation, as it was not in the current protocol to administer radiation to patients who have lupus.
Over the past eleven years, she continued to have her regular check-ups.....all showed her cancer free.
About three years ago, she noticed a change in an area in the scar tissue. Her doctor performed a needle biopsy, and it came back negative. The area wasn't bothering her and she took the doctor at his word. A couple of months ago she noticed a change in the area. Again, she went back to her doctor a couple of weeks ago, and he said it was nothing. But, he did suggest she have an ultra sound. The technician who performed the ultra sound, said it was nothing. The nurse told Gail she should ask to have a punch biopsy. The biopsy came back positive.....the cancer had returned.
Had the nurse not suggested the biopsy, this story may have a different ending.
What I want to share with you is: If you see something, say something. This is your body, you know it best. Gail followed her intuition, and a nurse substantiated her thoughts.
The good news is the bone scan and C/T scan both came back negative. The cancer has not metastasized to other organs. On Monday, Gail went in for surgery and had the area removed. We are awaiting the results of the pathology report to find out the next steps. Gail is doing great! She's already back to her normal routine and is pain free.....thanks to the drugs and ice.
During the passage of the last eleven years, new research has been conducted and protocols have changed. We will find out soon if she is a candidate for radiation.
Gail wanted me to share her story to elevate cancer awareness. Follow your instincts. Get a second opinion.....or third if you feel something is wrong. Schedule a mammogram that you've been putting off. Take care of yourself......you have a lot of quilts to finish!
Needless to say I haven't been doing much quilting lately. Today I'm getting ready for a workshop and trunk show in Concord, CA for the Quilt Guild of Contra Costa County this Saturday and Monday. Pacific Gas and Electric notified us there is going to be a scheduled power outage from 9am to 3pm today. Yikes! I have to get printing NOW and doing everything I do before a workshop. Maybe this would be a good day to sit on the deck and read.