When you call a doctor’s office for test results it may not be a good sign and you will be referred directly to the doctor.
When I came in line with the radiologist who did the biopsy of my breast tissue, I heard the diagnosis in her voice before uttering the words “you have invasive breast cancer”.
Instead of jumping into questions about my own health, I tried to sympathize and comfort the doctor who was in dire straits to release the news. “It’s very difficult for you,” I said. I am not a particularly selfless person; I firmly believe that instead of processing my diagnosis immediately, focusing on my doctor’s emotional needs is a coping mechanism. My reaction was also reflective. Women tend to accept the caring role of others, but often pay less attention to caring for us. A basic but important way we can change is to get a regular mammogram.
Each year, approximately 280,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States. Many of those women are not as lucky as I am. I have access to high quality medical care and sick leave with pay – for many, absolutely essential benefits during a health crisis. The epidemic has significantly magnified shameful health inequalities. Unstable or low-income people, especially those of color, suffer from cancer and poor survival rates COVID-19. A recent Washington Post The article revealed that since the outbreak began, millions of health care providers and patients have been canceled And diagnostic tests. When studying children from home, often without insurance and regular doctors, many women who struggle to provide for their families do not have timely diagnostic tests. This represents a public health crisis because delayed diagnosis can have a significant impact on a patient’s prognosis.
Whether early detection methods and treatment can be accessed – basically, whether a person is alive or dead – should not depend on one’s race, ethnicity, postal code or bank account.
After hearing the words “you have cancer”, nothing felt the same. But hearing those words quickly makes all the difference. Last July, I found a lump in my breast a week later, from a scheduled mammogram. I was (mostly) convinced that there was nothing in it; I have been enjoying good health all my life and nothing has gone wrong. However, after a series of tests and biopsies, I was diagnosed with invasive papillary cancer – a rare but very dangerous form of breast cancer. I was so lucky that my cancer was caught early and grew slowly. Following double mastitis, my prognosis is better.
My experience has taught me that no matter how healthy a person feels, we do not know who is lurking undetected. That is why it is necessary to get regular diagnostic tests like mammograms. Beyond taking care of our physical health, I also learned that it is important not to set unreliable standards for how we deal with unexpected bad news. When discussing my diagnosis or surgery, children my age would punish me for continuing to distract their anxiety by telling me how “lucky” I was to have cancer before it progressed to my lymph nodes. I feel incredibly grateful – and, in some ways, guilty – so far, I have handled a positive cancer hand. But I learned that thinking, “It stinks” is not ungrateful. Counting your blessings and grieving in a situation are not mutually exclusive. In fact, recognizing the full spectrum of emotions can be helpful and healing. I hope this awareness will provide better support to others facing breast cancer or life challenges.
Although I have spent a fair amount of money on my career in public view, I am a pretty personal person when it comes to my personal life. But, whether you have a public site or a small circle of friends, cancer stocks are too high for the luxury of privacy. We need to talk about cancer. We need to share our stories. We need to encourage our family members, friends and co-workers to take responsibility for their health. ThisIt is my hope that more and more women will undergo their routine check-ups and schedule their regular mammograms, that our country will prioritize genuine health equality for all, and that every woman diagnosed with breast cancer will have the grace to allow others to take care of her. Of her.
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