Breast cancer runs on my maternal side. Since the age of 35 my gynecologist started doing ultrasounds on my breast and at 37 I started going in for my yearly mammograms. This is just one of those things I need to stay on top of to be safe.
Since I have dense and cystic breasts, I’m prone to having a scare or two during the course of the year when I think I “feel something”. Just last month I made a frantic stop into my gyno’s office to see whether she could feel what I had just felt. I wouldn’t say I’m paranoid or a hypochondriac but just nervous when I feel something that I sense could be a lump or mass given my genetic disposition to breast cancer.
When I heard the news of Denise Albert -42 and co-founder of The MOMS was diagnosed with breast cancer I felt a pit in my stomach. I’ve started following her story as she broke the news last January 2016 and has so heroically chronicled her on-going journey with Good Housekeeping and The MOMS.
She writes about being diagnosed just 3 months after a “normal” mammogram and no family history of breast cancer mind you, and how this experience has affected her two young boys. She explains what it was like going through a lumpectomy, 6 months of chemo, 6 weeks of daily radiation and continued immunotherapy infusions at Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center, which should run through May.
She has been sharing her story with us to raise awareness and not just for cute “likes” or “hearts” on social media but AWARENESS that will hopefully help others as much as it’s helped me.
As I just completed my yearly mammogram a few days ago and receiving an “all clear” result, I reached out to Denise who has graciously given us her top 5 tips.
Here’s what she said:
She has been sharing her story with us to raise awareness and not just for cute “likes” or “hearts” on social media but AWARENESS...
1 – Schedule and KEEP your mammogram appointments. You wouldn’t miss something important for your kids…so stick around for your kids by doing this!
2 – Talk about your mammography with your friends so it reminds them to get checked.
3 – If you have Dense Breasts, ask for further testing. Keep asking questions and keep following up. Keep pushing for more information.
4 – I felt a pain and found a small lump by accident because it hurt and went right to a doctor. (Just 3 months after a “normal” mammogram). Check yourself often. Any change should be checked out. Listen to your body. A pain and pea size lump I felt is not NORMAL. We have all heard that cancer doesn’t hurt. Well….mine did. Thankfully.
5 – Share this. It will help others.
Denise further added, that this has shown her she can take on any challenge. “My work as Co-Founder of The Moms has shown me I can start anything. I never knew it would be helpful in forming a community for FutureCancerSurvivor , Survivors, Friends & family. I’m not asking for money…and it’s not a charity and I don’t have all the answers. But it’s the start of a place to go to communicate, ask questions, share experiences, help someone else, connect, and who knows what else. It began organically through my posts and my journey was and is much easier because of this community. So PLEASE READ my latest piece – also on my personal FB page , SHARE this link , and TELL YOUR FRIENDS TO GO TO THE COMMUNITY PAGE! We will make a difference (and the woman in the piece had her meds approved just before this posted!!!)”, Denise said.
Thank you, Denise, for sharing your story with us. I also want to thank you all for sending your love my way on the day of my mammogram. It’s always filled with so much anxiety. You gave me so much added knowledge on alternative ways to check my breast. I’m exploring all these options and will write a post on it very soon.
Share your stories below!