I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.
Before I get into today's post, I would like to say that yesterday was Remembrance Day. For the first time I can remember, the store where I work actually stopped, the Store Manager recited Flanders Fields, and the whole store, customers and all observed a moment of silence. It was quite amazing.
I would like to thank 2 of my cousins for serving my country in the Canadian Armed Forces for over 30 years a piece. And for all of those who have lived, and fought and died for our countries, I thank you.
And now, onto another type of fight.
My younger sister is 44 years old. She was diagnosed with Grave's Disease in May of this year. Her neck was swollen on both sides of her thyroid, and her Dr. recommended she see an Endocrinologist, who diagnosed her. She was put on medication for her heart, and another for her thyroid. The heart medications was because her heart had been racing for so long she could have suffered a heart attack at any time. The thyroid medication obviously to slow down her thyroid.
The swelling has been going down on one side but not the other. They were playing a waiting game.
In the meantime, her Family Dr. passed away. She met with a new Dr. closer to her home, and he was in agreeance with the Endo to wait and see with the thyroid. It was, however, time for her yearly mammogram. We have a family history of breast cancer. My mother's sister and neice, and on my dads side, my grandmother. My sister is my half sister. We have different fathers. Because of this, she has been have a mammogram yearly since she turned 40.
This year, she went to a different clinic for the test, due to the new family Dr.
The results of the mammogram came back. She knew that she had what is called "microcalcification", but each year things looked the same. This year her new Dr. thought things looked different. So she had another test. After getting her past results and comparing them, it was decided that a biopsy was in order.
Her husband took her to the hospital where the biopsy was to be done. It should have been about an hour appointment. What followed was a 4 hour catastrophe. While doing the biopsy they nicked an artery. Blood started shooting out through the small incision, and all hell broke loose. No one really knew where the blood was coming from. They were packing her with gauze in an attempt to stop the bleeding. After moving her from one room to another, all the while attempting to get this bleeding under control, a surgeon was called in. He had his finger on the bleed and was applying such force while they prepped her for the surgery that she had a fist-sized bruise. My sister is a little person. But she is strong. She didn't complain while all this was going on. She was finally sent home, told to rest, and not use her right arm for anything for a few days. This was in October fight before our Thanksgiving. She was told it would take about 2 weeks to get the results of the biopsy.
In talking to her over Thanksgiving weekend, I got the feeling that she thought the results would not be good. She said that the whole biopsy catastrope was a bad omen. She was sure of it. She was also worried that the swelling of her thyroid had something to do with it. Her and her Dr. had discussed a biopsy on her thyroid before any of this had happened and now she was sure it was all connected. We all told her she was silly. Don't worry about things you have no control over. Wait and see, we told her. Everything will be fine.
Have you ever heard the saying "hurry up and wait"? Well for her, the next 2 weeks dragged. She has since told me that she did everything she could to keep her mind off of it. Finally the day arrived and she called the Dr's office.
The person she spoke with gave her the good news! All was clear. NO CANCER!! She would continue to have mammograms every 6 months from now on, and they would keep a close eye but all was good! She was so thankful! She called everyone and shared her good news. We all let out our collective held breath and thanked God!
Great news right? But wait, we're not done yet.
The next day she was driving to work from the lab. She had had her normal bloodwork done for her thyroid condition. She pulled into a gas station to answer the call after the third time of it ringing hoping her sons were ok.
It was her Dr's office asking her to come in, the Dr. would like to speak to her. She asked why? What was going on, and was told again, that the Dr. needed to speak to her. She said ok well I'll be there right away, as she was only about a block away.
When she arrived she was ushered into his office. He came in without delay and sat down. He had her folder in his hand and as she said, a "funny look on his face". He told her he had some news for her regarding her biopsy. She told him that she spoke with someone from his office just the day before and was told that everything was fine. He told her everything was definitely NOT fine. He had just received the biopsy results that morning and it showed what is called Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. She remembers sitting back in her chair stunned. How can this be?? She was told the day before that all was well? What the hell was going on?? The Dr. told her that he didn't know what happened the day before and he wasn't sure who she had spoken with but whomever it was should never have said anything.
They must have been looking at an old mammogram, not the biopsy results which had just come in. He apologized profusely but sternly told her that this needed to be taken care of right away. No delay. She must meet with a Surgeon to discuss her options and they needed to move on this.
Needless to say, she was shocked. Imagine being told one day that everything was fine, and then the next finding out you do, in fact, have Cancer?
I can't even begin to imagine how she must have felt. She says it was like being hit by a Mac truck. Not to mention she was all alone. Oh how I wanted to rip that person who told her all was wells face off. I'm sorry but seriously? This isn't like a little thing. This is a H.U.G.E. thing.
So this week, on Thursday, my little sister is going in for a lumpectomy, and a biopsy on her lymph nodes. This will be followed by radiation therapy 5 days a week for 5 weeks. And if the lymph nodes are affected, likely a full mastectomy and chemotherapy will follow.
I know that there are people of all ages, all over the world affected by Cancer each and every day, and there are many worse types.
But please, say a little prayer for my sister? She's the only one I have.