First let me say that the mammogram test was not nearly as bad as I dreaded. Please do not follow my example as the coward who took seven years to get this important screening done.
The biggest toll on me of the whole experience was the exhaustion of just getting ready, traveling to the hospital (only a few miles, but still hard on me), getting around the hospital and getting back home. Of course, just having a bath nearly wore me out, as it always does.
The mammogram did reveal a small lump at the top of my right breast requiring extra scans and an ultrasound of the area. The good news is that the doctor thought that both that lump and the lump under my right arm were just cysts but cautioned me to continue to self examine because mammograms don’t always detect cancer. (Somehow, that didn’t inspire as much confidence as I had hoped I’d get).
It really scared me when the mammogram showed that spot, so I decided I would get my yearly mammograms from now on. What if the report hadn’t been a good one?
I confess. It has been seven years since my last mammogram. I know. Its terrible. For the past three years I have been so unwell most of the time, it seemed like the last thing to consider. As for the prior four years, I have no excuse. I just can’t get excited about having my breasts mashed like a zit!
That said, it is now time to face the mammogram head on. My doctor has recommended a diagnostic mammogram because I have had periods of breast pain and sensitivity for no apparent reason. In addition, I now have a small lump under my arm. So tomorrow, I will submit to the painful mammogram as well as an ultrasound of the lump under my arm.
Now, I am one of those odd people who does not sit and worry about test outcomes. I see no reason to worry until I have a reason…not “put the cart before the horse” so to speak. My concern is about the mammogram itself. After all, who wants to have their breasts flattened between two plates…mashed like a zit?
Its here again! How did it get here so quickly? It is exciting despite my constant pain, fatigue, and lately, almost continual nausea. However, this is not about me. It is time to celebrate the birth of our Savior in a manger…in a stable. He was anointed by God and surrounded by His earthly family. Gifts were brought in celebration of His birth.
That night so long ago is the inspiration for my family’s annual gathering. We, of course, share a meal first. When the last bite is taken, we congregate to read about the birth of the Savior from The Bible (Luke), then a prayer of thanks for His coming followed by the giving of gifts.
I remember my little brother Alan used to get so excited at Christmas. It was his favorite time of the year. Each year, since he was little he would put on the Santa hat to hand out all of the presents. Sadly, this will be our third Christmas without him since he went home to be with the Lord. I choose to believe that God gave Alan a trip for Christmas that year. He took it on February 10th of 2009 and I believe it was the best trip he ever took.
Although I desperately miss him (not just at Christmas), I believe he now celebrates with the Son, and that knowledge is the best gift I have ever received. Yes, it is Christmas time again. It is still exciting (I have a grandson & a granddaughter on the way). It is nice to see Christmas through the eyes of a child again, just like when my boys were young…just like Alan.
Health Sciences News Story.
This a must read as it addresses and lends credence to those who are suffering with chronic #Lyme disease and other vector-borne diseases. Dr. Motaleb, whose specialties are microbiology and immunology, gives hope to those of us cursed with the effects of these infections…even if that hope is based solely on being taken seriously.
As more attention is drawn to Lyme disease and other vector-borne illnesses, those within the medical community are forced to give these illnesses the consideration needed and deserved. As the voices of #Lyme become louder with every new patient, the cry is becoming to loud to ignore.
Every day or two I am presented with news/articles/information of hope letting me know that it is only a matter of time until the entire medical community must acknowledge the prevalence and severity of these infections. So many people continue to suffer because they were not diagnosed within the narrow 30-day post-bite window necessary to stop the infection before it gets too far.
If you don’t know anything (or enough) about #Lyme you may be asking yourself what I mean by too far. The potential symptoms for #Lyme disease are many and often few cases look the same. In many cases, #Lyme affects the joints of the patient’s body. There is often muscle pain and weakness. The associated pain can be very severe and the weakness can turn the patient into an invalid. Symptoms can mimic Lupus or MS. Additional damage can include the heart, the brain or both. Some patients die either because the diagnosis came to late or because they can’t afford to get treated (insurance companies will rarely pay for these treatments.
It is almost impossible to find a doctor who is literate enough in #Lyme disease to treat patients effectively and there is much controversy within the medical community about proper treatment. There are even some who fail to recognize that Lyme undiagnosed for several months or years can become chronic and reach late-stage.
The time has come to get educated about this topic, for yourself and for those you love. The suffering is real and the damage sometimes permanent. Do some research, get involved, consider what it would be like if the patient was you, a family member or a close friend and help spread the word.