Do you know what time it is?

Innocuous question. Perhaps. But not for a breast cancer survivor. When I was diagnosed 10-1/2 years ago, I happened to glance at my file and see that my tumour was at 3 o’clock. If you look at a clock-face, my tumour was on the right quadrant, mid-breast. No big deal you say? Well, since then I have ascertained that most tumours occur at 11 o’clock. So I am in the minority. Why does that not surprise me?

Fast forward to two years ago when during my annual mammogram, the radiologist spotted something unusual at 11 o’clock. Oops. My surgeon being self-admittedly OCD, ordered an MRI just to be sure. The wait for the appointment was agonizing. Not to mention the oft repeated question: “Are you claustrophobic?” No, I answered. But by virtue of being asked time after time I was poised to become so.

Nevertheless, I had my MRI– surreal experience that — and waited and waited for news.

I will never forget the call from my surgeon. I understand you’ve been calling the office anxious for your results? Duh, yes, I replied. Well, nothing of consequence there, he said. You can breathe again. How did he know I had stopped?

So, just to tell you, if you’re a breast cancer survivor, you never look at a clock the same way again. I bear the scar — at 3 o’clock.

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5 responses to “Do you know what time it is?

  1. And yet, 11:00 is a blessing for you, well, 11:11 anyway. 🙂

    Once again, glad you are still here…

  2. Ah, you pay attention too, Gina. I love you. Gratefully.

  3. Wow, Christine, I cannot begin to imagine how nervous that had to make you. I have been blessed, at least so far, to be in almost perfect health, which in a family with cancer on every side and almost ALL of my relatives having one form or MORE – at 55 years old I do not take my healthy state for granted.

    I do remember how every little sore muscle under my arm or even the teensiest bump or lump always made me panic and believe it or not, because OF family history I put off getting my very first mammogram for five years after I should have started getting them because I was so sure they would find it!

    I feel blessed to be your twitter friend, no matter what time it is 🙂

    Jan

  4. When that sort of thing happens, it’s actually time to try to remain calm, and positive..that’s easier to say than do, of course, but it’s not uncommon for false alarms to occur on those type of checks…

    What I’m driving at, is that your mental and emotional state may be a factor in your continued good health..so, for what it’s worth, I’d be inclined to use those kind of incidents as an opportunity to talk yourself up, to reinforce your positive outlook, to turn your apparent adversity to your advantage..

    I’m not a cancer survivor, so it’s easy for me to talk. I can only imagine what it’s like to go through what you have..but, me, I’d like to think that’s what I would be doing..

    You are doing a great job, I reckon, btw, keeping these issues to the front of our minds!

    G..

  5. feistybluegecko

    Just connected with your blog via twitter friends, and much of what you are saying struck a chord. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in October (breast cancer awareness month!!) and had to smile when you mentioned the time. I had a seven oclock one!!

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