WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2015

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/553574

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Page 102 of 227

i wasn't thinking about Breast Cancer Awareness month when I scheduled my last mammogram. I took the next available appointment and forgot about it until the day came in early October. By then Breast Cancer Awareness month was in full swing. There were pink pumpkins among the apples at the grocery store and pink ribbon adorned exercise clothes on the shelves at the gym. I didn't need all this pink to convince me to get a mammogram. A faithful adherent to the breast cancer screening guidelines, I had been getting stretched, twisted, and compressed every year since I turned 40. I was not going to let any cancer cells infiltrate my breasts without me knowing about it. On the day of my appointment, I brought my laptop with me to the hospital, prepared to settle in for the afternoon. Mammograms only take about 20 minutes, but when you add in registration, changing into something less comfortable, and the possibility of needing addi- tional images — 10 percent of women do — it can be significantly longer. Ever since I'd been flagged for a "benign abnormality" in a pre- vious mammogram, I'd opted to stick around for same-day results. Sticking around turned out to be a good choice. The radiologist reading my images ended up ordering additional views. After viewing them, she recommended a biopsy to assess a suspicious cluster of microcalcifications in my right breast. I wasn't too worried; I knew that 80 percent of biopsies are benign. I had been one of the 80 percent just two years before. When my radiologist called me two days after the biopsy to let me know that I had early stage breast cancer, I was shocked. I wrote down 101 f a l l 2 0 1 5 | W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e One writer's personal story of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment An Unexpected L I S A L E S L I E H E N D E R S O N writer P E T E R B A K E R photographer

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