OK

What is on my mind.  That is what the status bar asks.  So, the short answer is breast cancer - or just cancer and disability in general.  I have been diagnosed with breast cancer.  It is extremely survivable since it was found so early.  That was mostly luck and a really good doctor.  

More below the squiggle.

This doctor does really good exams.  He's not on anyone's insurance panel, naturally, so he's expensive.  But when I couldn't find out why I was constantly tired, he was the one that found a reason (two, actually).  Turns out I was recovering from mono, and have a bacterial infection.  So he put me on some meds that are helping.

Fast forward to recent; my OB-GYN took me off the pill.  She said I am at the age where stroke risk is greater than the benefits.  Since I got fixed at age 29, the pill is not for pregnancy prevention - but it does control the dysmenorrhea that I had.  Coming off the pill causes the dysmenorrhea to reappear.  So, this new doctor was looking at putting me on hormone therapy to control the dysmenorrhea. However, he wanted to check to make sure that the hormone therapy doesn't cause any side effects (yea!).  So I gave him the results of the mammogram that I just had that said I was fine.  I literally got the ok letter the week before.  He did an in-office exam to double-check and found a bump he wants to look at with an ultrasound.  I could only feel it when he directed my fingers.  It felt like a small ledge.  

So I'm back to the mammogram place for the ultrasound, where they found a potentially cancerous area.  Biopsy confirmed it is a cancer - and that it reacts to hormones.  So thankfully he found that!  The tumor is small, and found early.  

If I had not been considering hormone therapy, this wouldn't have come up.  If local medical institutions listened to whoever it was that said mammograms should only be done once every two years after age 50, I wouldn't have even done the mammogram for another year.  If the OB-GYN hadn't taken me off the pill (for sound medical reasons) the dysmenorrhea wouldn't have reappeared.  So many lucky coincidences lead to finding this early!  

The treatment plan is straightforward.  So now, the concern is just how to keep working so I can provide a roof for my family while taking time to get this treated and affording all the extra medical expenses.  My husband is disabled from a car wreck.  My sister and her husband moved in with us when the banking sector collapsed.  She has terminal blood cancer.  Her husband was recently diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.  I am the provider.  This has been my job for years; I don't know how to do anything else.  This whole thing will be a learn as we go experience.  

Originally posted to CareGiving Kos on Thu Sep 20, 2012 at 07:02 AM PDT.

Also republished by Monday Night Cancer Club and KosAbility.

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