This blog is intensely personal, but if you're a woman, or you love a woman, you might want to take note...
With the Daphne finalists announced, my house remodel complete, I've been deep in revisions and now cleaning up my manuscript. But life doesn't swirl in its own orbit or at its own time, while you're working toward your goal. As the cliche goes. Life happens.
While devoting the majority of my time to my 2010 Golden Heart finalist manuscript, I noticed what I thought was a bug bite, on my right breast. I have a wonderful goals group, founded by Amy Atwell, called Writing GIAM. Her goal-setting passion has evolved into four groups and I happen to love the loop that I'm on. These women can be kind, funny and task masters when they have to be. We also could be considered an international group, with members in Canada, Europe, England, South Africa, Australia and the rest in the U.S. It's understandable that we have access to a wide range of knowledge and expertise.
Call this group your very own condensed version of Wikipedia.
Anyway, I asked my friends--yes, you can't belong to this group--without calling them friends, about this bug bite on my breast. I'd been doing yard work, too, so it was only natural that's where I assumed I got it. I wanted their thoughts on how I should treat it.
These brilliant women never mince words, we also have a breast cancer SURVIVOR on this loop. So to us, it's intensely relevant and in our face. The majority responding to my post, said, "Go to an ER. Now. And then Therese Walsh, founder of Writer Unboxed and the RITA-nominated author of The Last Will of Moira Leahy, sent me a video. I looked at it, and I appreciated being forewarned. I also received wonderful private reassuring posts from these ladies, in particular, my buddy in Louisiana, whose son is a doctor. I've done my research on Inflammatory Breast Cancer, which is the purpose of this blog.
Not to scare you but to educate you, it's rare, it's not detectable with a simple mammogram and needs further evaluation--by a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound. My doctors have for the most part eased my fears. But...the nurse practitioner where I receive my gynecological evaluations had never heard of it. Hence, my reason for this post.
The Internet can be evil, it can alarm you unnecessarily. I'm not alarmed nor do I want you to be. I do want you to know that this certain type of breast cancer exists. Or it might indeed be a simple bug bite. I'm full of cliches today so I'll leave you with this one. Knowledge is power. I now return you back to your writing. ~ All best.
Addendum to my post from yesterday. When learning about cancer, please consider heredity. Award-winning Author Deb Stover had this to say about IBC and related cancers:
Thanks for posting this, Donnell. I think you should change "I probably"
will change doctors to "I WILL" change....
My mother-in-law died from IBC at 49, after fighting it for two years. In 2000, the University of Colorado included my late husband in a study involving the sons of mothers who'd had IBC, and were diagnosed with very early colorectal cancer. Dave was only 44 when first diagnosed with Stage III--a tumor so large the doctor said it had to have been growing at least 7 years. Gosh, 37 is a lot younger than the 50 they recommend initial screening for colon cancer. Hmm... Ironically, he fought the beast until 3 weeks beyond his 50th birthday.
Early detection is everything in cancer treatment. My brothers-in-law get a colonoscopy reminder in their birthday cards every year. ;-)
Back to your regularly scheduled program.
Thanks, Deb. I am paying attention. To learn more about Deb, her books and her personal story, check out www.debstover.com