It was a normal summer July day when I received a call from my doctor. I was hoping to hear that my biopsy was typical and nothing to worry about.
Dr: “Tandy, are you driving?”
Me: “Yes, why?”
Dr: “I need you to pull over.”
Me: “Hell no, if you are saying to pull over, something is wrong.”
Dr: “The biopsy showed that there is cancer in your left breast.”
That statement is one that no one ever wants to hear. The amount of feelings and stories of what “could be” run through your head. What about my kids? You remember all the stories of those in your circle. “So and so, she only made it a couple of months post-diagnosis,” etc.
The stories I conjured up were unbelievable and jarring.
I was now a member of a club that no one ever wants to belong to.
I knew something was up with my body, but I had no idea it was this. I had some persistent swelling around my arm, so I went and had an MRI to make sure that it wasn’t a symptom of cancer. The MRI result suggested an ultrasound. “Suggested,” didn’t say, “Hey go right away right now” — there was no urgency. So, I almost didn’t.
I am glad I did. I had stage 1 lobular cancer.
Then came one nerve-wracking thing after another. DNA tests to measure aggression risk, heart tests, full medical work up, blood work. You get to my age, every one of these tests can turn up something. Stressful for sure.
The type of cancer I had can be tricky since it is not in my ducts. It just shows up as a shadow on MRI’s. It’s hard to recognize and often missed. I was persistent that it was checked out and I ended up being validated in that persistence. I thank god for the swelling in my arm, it was unrelated to the cancer diagnosis, but the impetus for me to get in there and get checked.
I trusted my gut instincts.
Now at 6 weeks out post-op and radiation, I just want to highlight the importance of being aware. Being persistent and being not only your own advocate but your strongest one as well. Don’t take “suggestions” or advice as an answer, when you can feel that something isn’t right. In my case, a clean mammogram and no outward symptoms. You hear me talk about Owning Your Power, your health is one place to really own it! Speak up for what feels right and what doesn’t. You have the power to choose.
Thank you, friends, for all your outreach.
With everything in life, it’s another learning journey. Fall is a time for grounding, so join me, friends. I am taking the days slower, enjoying the smaller things and honing in on my practice even deeper. You can’t be your best for your family or your business or your friends, if you aren’t putting yourself first. As nature goes through a season change, let’s join in. Assess all parts, people, and portions of your life- look into work, relationships, habits, and emotions that aren’t serving you.
Let go of what no longer serves you.
I’m here to help,
All my best,