Phil & Mel In The Afternoon

Weekdays 3:00PM-7:00PM

Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for BCRF

As I get older I swear time goes by quicker than it did when I was younger. A year ago today I had surgery for breast cancer. It doesn’t seem that long ago!

Last April I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I missed one mammogram during COVID and when I went last year, I just assumed I was fine. Breast cancer doesn’t run in my family. After my mammogram, my doctor wanted to do a biopsy. My mom has dense breasts so I figured I was the same. The mass the doctors found would be benign. No worries.

Obviously I was surprised when they said I had cancer. The cancer was hormone generated and it’s the most common type of breast cancer. It’s also has a very high survival rate if caught early enough. My doctor said it was Stage 1-2 for me, so I got very lucky! Still, I’d need surgery to remove the mass. My doctor gave me two options: a partial lumpectomy or a mastectomy. I chose to have the partial lumpectomy. June 6, 2021 I had the surgery. Doctors removed the mass and took four lymph nodes out.

My surgery was successful, and luck stayed with me as I didn’t need to go through chemo. I did go through a month of daily radiation and I’m on hormone-blocking meds for the next five years. As lucky as I am, I’ll admit the meds suck. You sweat constantly and they’ve made me more anxious and depressed, and they’ve made me chubbier. I didn’t need the help damnit!  Still, I’m alive so I try not to get too bummed out. Some days are better than others though.

Last week I had my yearly mammogram. The night before I couldn’t sleep. I figured I was fine, but my anxiety was high. My test results came back a few hours later and immediately I was nervous. I thought results that quick would mean bad news. I was wrong! My mammogram came back clean with no signs of cancer. WHEW!

Breast cancer is so very common now. I don’t know why. The number of women that I know that have dealt with breast cancer or are dealing with it seems high. That said, I must say that mammograms are saving lives! Mammograms are a total pain, literally and figuratively, but they can save your life.

If you haven’t scheduled a mammogram for this year, please do. If there’s one thing that can increase your survival rate in regard to breast cancer, it’s catching it early. Yes, a mammogram is a pain, but it can save your life. Early detection really is key!  Please take care of YOU!