Are we aware enough yet?

Card from Ella, 13

So I got the call today about my treatment schedule. First appointment will be on the 15th of October, for “orientation”, with treatment starting the following Monday, on the 19th. Initially they had indicated the 22nd, but my brain rebelled at starting mid week, so they brought it forward a few days so that I could mentally compartmentalise each week as a separate entity. I am both slightly ashamed of needing to ask, and proud of myself for asking, because little things like that can really set me off kilter, and tiny accommodations can really help me.

Final day of treatment will be November 6th.

There is some weirdness with having my radiation treatment in “Breast Cancer Awareness Month”, because DCIS both is, and is not, “cancer”.

It’s cancer because it meets the clinical definition of cancer (abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body), and it literally has “cancer” in the name (Ductal Carcinoma In Situ – DCIS), but it’s not “terrible bad no good scary cancer” because it’s confined in the ducts, and slow growing. If it breaks out of the ducts and becomes invasive, you get to really belong to the cancer club, but DCIS is Schrödinger‘s Cancer. It is both completely banal and boring, and also fucking horrible and scary, but also fine, just have treatment and go home, and also, for fucks sake where do you think you’re going to put that giant fucking needle?

And then there is this cheery news. DCIS Carries Three-Fold Risk of Death.

So, roll on November 7th. And remember that now is a great time to make your mammogram appointment, do a boob self check, don’t ignore warning signs, and denounce white supremacy. Get it early.

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