I’m a single mom of kids with disabilities……I’m alone in Australia having emigrated from South Africa in 1995.
Life hasn’t followed the blueprint I wrote for myself when I graduated medical school in 1995.
Fast forward through 2 divorces, I finally got myself ,my own house and the fabulous age of 41!!!
Mornings were always tough getting school refusers ready for the day they didn’t want. Add in insulin injections for Miss A, who developed Type 1 Diabetes a month after her 4th birthday.
SO my AM routine was get up- shower-dress-makeup/hair and get the kids happening.
Except on May 26 2011, at 43 years old, I showered, did my hair…….before dressing. I noticed an irregularity in my left breast. But being a super conscientious dr, who tended to be over-the-top-thorough, I thought, “Don’t be neurotic” and carried on hurrying as I did.
“But hang on……what would you do with a patient who had this?” So I had a feel…….
OMG exactly what you DON’T expect to find…….a 3 cm hard mass..
I phoned a friend…..another GP dr……”WTF else can cause skin tethering and a lump???”
Denial kicked in……..off to do the kids….get in the car……school drop offs and walked into work.
I proudly announced to the nurses that they could come and have a feel of my lump.”
Ilana Galgut WTF!!!!! You knew this was breast cancer but you played the denial card loud and with finesse.
Not wanting to burden my colleague, Dr Jodie, my friend/colleague who’d been my phone-a-friend person, I booked a GP appointment at midday where a young, knowledgeable lady tried to reassure me, “It’s mobile”.
Well. It. Wasn’t. At. All. I knew that!
SO …. here’s how it went….hey ho……hey ho……it’s off to a mammogram I go……..
But this wasn’t like any other mammogram I’d had. Yes……I’m a good girl…..I did a 40 year old reported as ‘no signs of breast cancer’ mammogram. But, unlike what I did for my patients, I didn’t insist on an ultrasound, I just accepted a screening mammogram.
This is despite being fully aware of the TRIPLE TEST for breast cancer screening where no modality is 100% accurate.
A thorough examination requires
Clinical examination to highlight any irregularities
I didn’t want to appear neurotic. So I accepted what the GP suggested.
I had a name for being super thorough, over-inclusive and I was changing that. BUT THIS WASN’T THE RIGHT TIME TO MAKE THE SHIFT!
So, that 26 May 2011, I walked in to the Radiology Department and came out a very different person.