Yesterday my wife and I sat in an exam room as the doctor informed my wife she has breast cancer. I helplessly watched the person I love my than myself break down and cry. I was helpless. Her mother and sisters have all had fibrous tissue issues so that was what she expected this to be.
While we sat there stunned, the doctor proceeded to tell us what our options are. A lumpectomy followed by 6 weeks of radiation or mastectomy and who knows if she would need radiation after that.
As time went by she was able to compose herself. When all the extra tests were done we went and got a cup of coffee and talked. One of the things I mentioned was that we did not have to use that doctor and that hospital. I recommended that she look at the other facilities in the area to see if she feels more comfortable elsewhere.
I am not posting here to ask for sympathy. We think we caught it in the early. The doctor won't know for sure it this is Stage 1 cancer until she is doing the surgery. They have to examine the lymph nodes in the area before they can make a determination.
My point today is to remind everyone to speak with the families. I realize every single woman over the age of 18 knows they need to self examine. I am here to emphasis how important it is. Yesterday my wife kept telling me she feels fine. She has no symptoms. My reply was that is a good thing. If she had symptoms she would probably be in Stage 3 or 4.
Before going to bed last night I look and the Cancer Society says a woman has a 13% chance of getting breast cancer in her lifetime. The odds are in favor of the vast majority. It is very treatable. Last week I read that the success rate in Stage 1 is 99%.
For years I have been an advocate of breast cancer awareness. I've made donations. I've gone on fundraiser walks. I even have a pink t-shirt in one of my drawers. My wife has a pink Packers cap when Deanna Favre was diagnosed with cancer.
My request today is to emphasis how important early detection is. People know they should floss but don't always do it. People know they shouldn't smoke but still do. People know they should do a lot of things but it isn't always convenient. Ask them to examine on a regular basis anyway.