Mom’s Turn

Last week Eli had the week off of chemo and all other medical stuff, so I decided to take care of my own medical housekeeping. I didn’t set out to compete with Eli for number of medical appointments in a week, but it was almost a tie.


About 2 1/2 years ago I had a well woman exam and the doctor ordered a routine mammogram. My youngest had just weaned, so we scheduled it out a few months to get more accurate results. When the time came, my 10 year old had discovered a mysterious bump and my father in law was dying. The order had also been sent to a different hospital than I had wanted, so I cancelled the appointment and never got around to getting it done. A couple months ago I learned that another high school friend was diagnosed with breast cancer, so I felt I’d put it off long enough, so that’s what I had done on Tuesday.


I checked my mammogram report and there were a couple asymmetries on the right side, so I tracked down a doctor and made an appointment for the next day to order any further imaging and walk me through the process. I have been dealing with tendonitis involving my thumbs, so I had an appointment to get that checked out. She gave me a cortisone shot in one hand to see if that would help. She also prescribed a topical Ibuprofen for the pain. I spent the rest of the day, between schooling the kids, doing laundry, and avoiding dinner prep, studying up on mammogram results and what they mean. I now know about BI RADS, dense breast tissue, asymmetry, 2D vs 3D mammograms, and the statistical odds of getting recalled for additional scans.


Yes, it’s uncomfortable.

I met with the doctor to go over my mammogram results. He ordered a spot compression mammogram and an ultrasound. I scheduled an appointment for that afternoon. I went in for the imaging appointment and was given the all clear/come back in a year by the radiologist. When a friend commented on how fast I got my follow up imaging and results, I responded “I have superpowers”.


Eli’s week off cancer is over. Today he’s getting the follow up MRI to check on that eye tumor. What it has done since the last MRI a month ago will inform our future treatment trajectory. More chemo, then radiation? Radiation then CAR T clinical trial? Radiation then chemo?

We shall see.

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