Last Thursday, my wife Kathy was diagnosed with poorly differentiated breast cancer. She is not facing this alone. We’re approaching this as a team, as if together we have cancer. She has been my best friend for 30 years. I will do whatever it takes to ensure we have another 30 years together.
She’s has agreed that I can chronicle the process, the diagnostic tests, the therapeutic decisions, the life events, and the emotions we experience with the hope it will help other patients and families on their cancer treatment journey.
Here’s how it all started.
On Monday, December 5, she felt a small lump under her left breast. She has no family history, no risk factors, and no warning. We scheduled a mammogram for December 12 and she brought me a DVD with the DICOM images a few minutes after the study. On comparison with her previous mammograms it was clear she had two lesions, one anterior and one posterior in a dumbbell shape. I hand carried the DICOM images to the Breast Center team at BIDMC.
On December 13 she had an ultrasound guided biopsy which yielded the diagnosis – invasive ductal carcinoma, grade 3.