Dena Taylor | breast cancer exam
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New oncologist, fading nerves – Part 2

Well that was weird. With one exception, everything I thought would take place at the new oncologist's office, didn't. In my last post I mentioned going to a new Denver oncologist (onco) for my annual followup. Since finishing treatment and five years of tamoxifen, I've been monitored with: Annual digital mammograms (despite implants, my previous surgeon felt that it would capture microcalcifications in any trace tissue, since technically, it's impossible to remove every last trace) Manual exams Tumor marker blood test Vitamin D levels (associated with cancer risk) Some sort of discussion about whether or not I'm peri-menopausal ("Are the heat waves I still get two years after finishing tamoxifen a sign? If so, when for the love of God will they stop?") I figured we'd knock out each item plus the following: Discuss whether I should take tamoxifen for another five years (studies have shown it to be beneficial for women who had early-state ER/PR positive cancer, like...

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New oncologist, fading nerves – Part 1

  I didn't always know how to talk cancer. When I went to a survivors luncheon just two days after my diagnosis in 2006 —or was it one?—the words were like rocks in my mouth, funny tasting, awkward and some had sharp edges. "The way they were talking so openly about it -- like you would a migraine or bladder infection -- clashed with my current state of shock. I could barely utter the words “I have cancer” let alone talk about its characteristics or plans for treatment. I was still reeling, still raw." — excerpt from I Don’t Wanna Be Pink I can talk about it now. I'm honored to do so if it will help others, and comfortable when it's within the context of my book, such as in my recent interview on Good Grief with Cheryl Jones, on my blog, via social media, or in my journal. That is to...

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