There is no set time to start counting your ‘cancer anniversary’, from what I’ve read. Some start the count from diagnosis, some from surgery, some from other significant points. I’m counting it as my ‘anniversary’ today, as one year ago, on 22 Sept 2014, was my very first doctor appointment for a suspicious lump.
I count mine from when we first saw the look on the gyn’s face as he did the breast exam. I think that’s a cyst, says I. Hm, he said. I’ll send you for a mammogram.
The mammogram didn’t show anything – how could it, as with such dense breast tissue, it looked like a field of snow? (even when we knew exactly where the tumour was, the surgeon couldn’t make it out on the mammogram)
The doc then sent me for an ultrasound – which showed nothing. This, I believe, was a potentially deadly mistake, a rush job by the doctor doing the ultrasound.
The gyn and I were puzzled. How about if you come back in 6 months and we do another mammogram, he asks. Although sensible, given the test results, this made me nervous. But I have pain here, said I, is that normal?
He stops. He thinks. He looks at me. He sends me for one last test, a breast MRI, which shows…without a doubt…cancer.
Believe it or not, I read the MRI results a year ago with relief. Relief that finally we knew and could get on with a solution.
4 months post chemo
So, a year on, I want to say “thanks, Dr Cano”, for listening to what I said, and believing in your own physical exam, instead of relying on initial test results. You just might have saved my life!