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My parents know a lot of people, I swear when they travel the world they always seem to bump into someone they know.  This fall, they were at Waimea Canyon in Kauai, HI (zip-lining!! OMG!) when they bumped into my mom’s old boss and he gave my mom a big bear hug. Unfortunately, he squished my mom a little too much and the underwire on her bra poked her skin and she ended up with a enormous bruise.  The bruise was still there a week later, so my mom went to the doctor to have it checked out.

Being a good doctor, he asked her when her last mammogram was (several years ago – bad mom!) and helped her schedule a new one.  Unfortunately, the scan found a small tumor in one of her breasts, which was a huge shock since breast cancer doesn’t run in our family. Fortunately, it’s very early stages and she is clear of cancer in the rest of her body, so we only have to focus on her getting well from this incident.

In her case, she’ll have a lumpectomy to remove it and then 4 weeks later follow it with 5 days of radiation via the SAVI technique, which takes the radiation pellet straight to the site where the cancer was (rather than via traditional radiation on the outside of the body).

As a sidenote: Her first oncologist told her that this “new” technique was unproven (hello..it’s been successful for the last 5 years) and he wouldn’t administer it, nor would he administer the full body MRI my mom requested to see if there were other cancerous spots. Needless to say, she sought a second opinion and got what she needed. It is SO important to take charge of your health, by doing the research, ask a lot of questions, push for the care you need and if you don’t get it, get a second opinion.

While this particular kind of cancer seems to be slow moving, I shudder to think what would have happened if the chain of events weren’t set in motion for her to find the cancer so early. She’s facing this with such strength and positivity, I believe she’ll beat this and go on with life with renewed vigor!

And being my mother’s daughter, I’ve been reading up on a lot of information about breast cancer.  It’s been eye-opening… many women are getting radical and needless mastectomies, a lot of young women who are at high risk can’t get a mammogram, how your donation dollars relating to the ‘pink ribbon’ aren’t getting where they’re supposed to go, etc…. But those are topics for other posts…

The focus here is that underwires in bras may be uncomfortable, but maybe they’re not so bad (in this instance)…and to take care of your health, you are your own best advocate!

Update: I realized that this post still had her original diagnosis. Unfortunately, it was determined that she had an aggressive form of cancer, which has required both several sessions of chemotherapy and weeks of radiation.  While it’s not as ideal as the 5 day dose, we’re glad it was caught in early stages and her treatment wasn’t as arduous as others.