Thursday, November 13, 2008

Technology isn't enough

I need to ask a favor of you. My friend Barbara was diagnosed with breast cancer this October. Tomorrow she is having a double mastectomy. Please send prayers, healing white light, positive thoughts, whatever you prefer. Send them so her surgeon and caregivers will be at their best. So that her husband, three young children and all of us who care for her will know comfort and strength. So that she will know she is not alone and she will find the courage and strength to go through what ever the future holds for her.

After she was diagnosed she didn't hide away and sink into denial. That isn't her. She is a very proactive person. If she weren't she might not even know she had cancer yet. She sat down and wrote a letter to our local paper about her experience. she wanted people to know. She asked me to post it on my blogs and I am.

To the Editor:
As breast cancer awareness month is coming to an end I wanted to share a story. We all know someone that has been touched by breast cancer. As my surgeon told me, Technology failed me for my cancer. Technology is great but there are times where you need to be an advocate for yourself and go with your gut. On 10/14/08 I was diagnosed with intraductal and invasive breast cancer.

In the end of July, beginning of August, my right breast looked different. I felt something but it wasn't a marble/pea type feeling. I just knew it was something that wasn't there before (from self-exams). I went and had a mammogram which said "density" so I went to the Gyn and said there is something wrong I don't want to wait the recommended the year. So She sent me for an ultrasound which didn't even find the area of concern. We could feel it but not find it. Next was a breast specialist that stated it is probably fibrosis we could wait and do another ultrasound in 3-6 months.

I said I wanted a breast MRI which I did get. I got the call that I had some brightening and needed to return for another ultrasound. I returned for another ultrasound and still no definite diagnosis. Again it was probably fibrosis but the radiologist stated let's make sure and do random biopsies.

Well I had 6 core biopsies taken from my right breast. It was just a sampling of the area, because by this time, approx 8 weeks later, this area went from the size of about 1 inch to almost half my breast. Four days after my biopsies the radiologist called me and said 5 of the biopsies were positive for intraductal and invasive carcinoma which means it started in my milk ducts and then had spread outside into my breast tissue.

I am having a double mastectomy in November. Thank God I did not wait a year for another mammogram. Because my breast cancer was not picked up with mammo or ultrasound even though there was palpable change and visual change. I am choosing to have a double mastectomy.I know similar problems have happened with other women, we need our technology but we also need to follow self breast exams, gut feelings and be an advocate for yourself... be informed.

Hopefully this information can help someone that might be having similar problems/questions.
Thank you,
Barbara Corbett


Blogger Amy Ruttan said...

I hope her double mastectomy went well. And good for her for being so brave and knowing her body.

If I found something off in my breast I would do the same.

Not that I want to lose my breasts, but if it meant my life or my breasts then I would have a double mastectomy in a heart beat.

11/25/2008 9:26 AM  
Blogger Marissa Alwin said...

Thanks Amy, She is doing great so far. Lymph nodes pathology was clean, she will find out next week if she needs any Chemo, But this is one thanksgiving we are all very thankful!

11/27/2008 12:19 AM  

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