Several times from January to June of 2011, we saw a billboard along State Route 315 in Columbus that read, “There is no routine breast cancer.” It was sponsored by the James Cancer Hospital of The Ohio State University. My breast cancer story is unique. Yours will be, too.
In December of 2010, my mammogram was scheduled. This was routine every year, at least a day beyond last year’s date, for insurance purposes. My doctor’s office phone call was not routine. My mammogram showed something. This is quite common, I was told, probably nothing.
An ultrasound was scheduled. My Technician was encouraging. She would ask if it could be read shortly. However, the Radiologist was busy right then, unable to read it immediately. That should have been a clue, but my mind was stuck on the fact that it was a cyst or fatty tissue, no big deal.
A few days later in January, my Primary Care Physician’s office called to schedule an appointment. The date of my diagnosis of BREAST CANCER was January 9 or 10, 2011.
My age was 67-1/2, married, the mother of two children, one deceased.
At that point, my breast cancer was in our daughter’s hands, since she was a Nurse Practitioner at the James Cancer Hospital. It also happened that Elizabeth was going to have her labor induced on January 11, 2011, for their second child.
We drove to their home in Westerville on the 10th. That evening, before their second child was to be born, our daughter was messaging her choice of an Oncologist, scheduling me for a needle biopsy, and helping me create a medical history.
On the 11th, Elizabeth and her husband Dan left early for the hospital, OSU, of course, and her admission and start of induced labor. When we came later to her room, as you can see by the attached picture, she was using her laptop computer to schedule my needle biopsy for the next day.
The James needed those ultrasound pictures, or they would have to take them again. That meant that my dear and faithful husband of 48 years drove our pickup truck 80 miles back home to get my large envelope of films from Coshocton hospital. He drove through a snowstorm.
Glenn made it safely back to our daughter’s hospital room with my films, and arrived before a healthy baby boy, Cohen Jeffery Arthur, was born, on that unique date. My privilege was being present during the birth, and acting as photographer.
Let me close this first chapter with the statement that breast cancer is a family affair.
Sally S. Kinkade – 12/10/17