Tuesday, November 6, 2007

do you?

at last, i have an appointment to meet with the surgeon. it's only two days away. another two days of waiting, of motivation-crushing limbo. ARGH! thankfully, the breast nurse called me yesterday afternoon to answer questions and really helped sooth my distress. have you local portlanders heard the OHSU breast center's commercials? with martha? well, that's the nurse who called me. the martha from the commercials is a real person, a real, kind caring person.

listen to how much magic is in this internet. a fan of my other blog,
found object, is friends with martha. she emailed martha the link to this blog and just that quick, martha was calling me to offer support, information and a sooner time slot to see the surgeon. yesterday morning, i was going to have to wait a whole week to see the surgeon and until wednesday to talk to martha.(thanks, jenni!)

and i am going to be seeing a woman surgeon, one who has experience with this particular type of rare tumor. that is also reassuring.

today i am just trying to focus on the positives. positives like i found this one much earlier than the last time. so it's smaller, which hopefully is better. certainly it means i lose less of my breast. fingers crossed.

i found this one because do my self breast exams every month now. prior to the tumor in 2001, i rarely did self breast exams. sure, i hung the exam guide in my shower and fooled myself into thinking that i was, in fact paying attention.

but i wasn't.

truth is, doing the exams scared me, made me feel a bit squeamish to be poking around.

despite the guides, i didn't really know what i was doing or what i was supposed to be feeling. my last surgeon actually taught me how to do the exams and explained what i was feeling in there. it's like learning the geography of your body. and it's a shifting landscape throughout your cycle. i finally learned that i should always do them the same time of the month, about 5 days after my period starts.

when you know the lay of the land, it's easy to feel something new.

breast exams. do


salmonpoetry said...

just checking in on you, Tay. sounds like you are in good hands with the surgeon and everyone who is caring for you, and glad you can get your appointment in soon.
And thanks for the reminder about the breast exams. I find it tricky myself- I can never find the little lump in the practice breast they have at my doctor's office, and I've held off on the mammogram, with the recent controversy about whether its really a useful screening tool or not (and my tiny breasts which are difficult to squeeze between the plates.)
keep your spirits up and give yourself some love as you brave it through this week.

Tay said...

thanks, Lisa. Self breast exams are still the best tool for finding things early, I think. It seems the mammogram can't just be the sole tool for finding things, but part of a package of exams, self, by the doctor and a mammogram. Many women with my type of tumor, it is spotted first by the mammogram. You actually should have an easier time with self exams and small breasts, as lumps don't have much place to hide. If you are over 35 and you've never had a mammogram, I think it is very useful to get one done as a baseline, if for no other reason. Just my 2 cents as a woman on tumor #2.

I think many women find it tricky to know how to do accurate self exams, you are not alone there. Better teaching needs to go on, so women feel comfortable with the process.

I'm doing what I can to shine light on the subject.

jenni said...

Tay, I send you love and light. may your heart be full.

Linda Scarlett said...

I found you on LWL e-mail. I instantly loved your blog. Then, I read about this personal page. I am humbled by your honesty. I am inspired by your courage. I am here in Portland. I am restarting my life in a different way. Fear so often rules us. If I can ever help you I am here as another human on this earth. You are an amazing person and I absolutely believe you will soar. May this all be quickly behind you and you reach new heights in all aspects of your life.