Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Save the Twins

I thought this month would be a break from Doctor's, but no.
Today I had my annual visit to the breast cancer center.
My family has a strong history of breast cancer.  My mother is a breast cancer survivor.  Her sister died of breast cancer in her late 30's and her daughter (my cousin) died of breast cancer in her early 30's.
I'd been putting off the exam for almost a year because the appointment proved to be difficult to schedule in between TWW (you can't do a mammogram if you might be pregnant).  I had to cancel a couple of appointments last winter and then kind of forgot about it...until my Doctor pretty much chewed my ass out for not making it priority.

As routine for the past nine years, I do a mammogram and an ultrasound as I am 'high risk'.  And of course, the later you wait to have a child (or never have one) you are at an even higher risk.
As a lay in the darkened room looking up at the ceiling tiles while the technician squirted goo on my breast and ran the handheld machine across my chest all sort of horrible thoughts went through my head.
Like:  Maybe this is why I had a miscarriage, because I have breast cancer.  
Or:  I guess it's best that I didn't get pregnant since I have breast cancer.  
Or this one:  I'll never get to have a child because I'll be going though radiation for the rest of my child bearing years.

I've known about my high risk for breast cancer for so long I've tried to remain nonchalant about my breasts.  I used to think that if I had to have a mastectomy that I'd be OK with that, after all, they are only fatty tissue.  I've tried so hard to be removed from the fact that they're MINE.  And I like them.  They are beautiful.  

They aren't perfect like my cousin's were--her surgeon cried when he had to remove them (I know this because my aunt was the anesthesiologist and was in the room the entire surgery) and declared they were the most beautiful breasts he'd ever seen.  Can you imagine?  
She was so beautiful, so young.  The worst thing--far worse than having a double mastectomy at age 33--was the fact that her daughter at 6 years old was witnessing her death.  This was the same exact age she was when her own mother died of the same exact disease.
I can't think of anything more painful than knowing you are going to die and also knowing exactly what your daughter is going to experience after your death because you already lived that life.

My twins are fine.  They found nothing, absolutely nothing.  For one more year, I can breathe a giant sigh of relief.


Heidi said...

I have unnaturally large breasts, and a unnaturally horrible fear of breast cancer. I worry that I won't feel a lump in all that tissue. And I too, love my breasts.

I'm glad your tatas are free and clear for another year!!!

And glad that your fears of miscarriage due to cancer have been relieved.

wishinghopingpraying said...

I am so glad you are okay!

N said...

I'm so glad it was clear for yet another year.

Jen said...

So glad that the girls are free and clear. I also have a strong genetic tie to breast cancer, and also have a great fear of being diagnoised. Celebrate!

nutella said...

So glad that you checked out clear. It's a very scary thing.

queerstork said...

Boo, my last comment got lost. Anyway, as I was saying - hooray on having another year of healthy boobs! Here's to many more!

eeney meeney miney mommy said...

Oh the suspense! I had to skip to the bottom of the post and make sure all was ok before reading the whole thing!
Hooray for healthy twins!

suburban dyke said...

I am glad you are ok. This is why I lurked:

Let’s fight back on Proposition 8. Let’s boycott California wines, produce and travel. Let’s publicize it. Let’s embarrass them. It worked a few years ago in Colorado. What do say?

Lizzie said...

Thanks for posting about this. An important reminder for all of us. And so glad/relieved that you and the twins are ok. So sorry to hear about the history of loss in your family.

Cindy said...

Your family medical history quietly lurks in the back of my mind, too. I try not to give it any energy, since I was raised knowing the Law of Attraction, and it seemed to work for my mom all of those years (like 10-15) that she didn't have medical insurance.

I didn't realize I was holding my breath until I reached the end of your blog. Whew.

I love ya, babe!

insertmetaphor said...

I'm so glad your tests showed nothing. What a scary thing to live with. My mom had breast cancer but she was over 50 which I guess means it's not as likely to be passed genetically. I can't imagine what your cousin must have felt.