Tuesday, November 23, 2010


When my parents where up here, my dad drove and waited with me while I obtained my old doctor records. So of course I was interested in seeing what my doctors wrote about my appointments. After initial treatment was over a pattern emerged. At almost every follow up appointment I asked about my sisters. They continually wrote, "Patient is concerned about her sisters." The funny thing is if I had not been worried about my sisters before the thousand times they asked me, "Do your sisters have breast cancer too?" would have certainly led me to worry.

Off the top of my head I think the recommendation is to start getting mammograms 10 years earlier than when your first degree relative was diagnosed with breast cancer. My nearest sister is 18 months younger than I am. Instantly she was 8 1/2 years behind in screenings. Plus mammogram images of nursing and pregnant women are not recommended. That has taken up most of the last five years for both of them. The whole preventative screening has basically been left up to them knowing their bodies well, and identifying changes that cannot be attributed to nursing or pregnancy. Not exactly the best system.

It makes me crazy thinking about it. Both of them are almost older than I was the first time I had cancer. In addition, none of us had anything close to the same type of pregnancy and birth experiences as each other or our mother. That reminds me that my mom had all her kids basically the same way, except for me. I like to think my specific life experiences pulled the trigger for me to have cancer and not them. While we have had some similar challenges in life, I could also say that about many who I am not related to. There are some challenges that my sisters have had that I will never have, and so I think the reverse is also true.

1 comment:

  1. It's like none of the other grandkids had a clubfoot or were preemie. I feel you are correct in that we have had our different challenges in our lives in that we each have needed the others to help us get through.