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  • Writer's pictureBren

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is breast cancer awareness month. Every woman should do a self check breast examination. Early signs and detection of any cancer increases your survival rate. I am telling you this from experience. I was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2011. I had a tumor in my right parotid gland. The parotid gland is salivary gland. You only have two and they are located on each side of the jaw. You have several smaller salivary gland but the parotid glands are the major ones. There are two lobes to the gland and one is above the jaw and the other is below, down into the neck. They are the major salivary glands that produce the saliva in your mouth. I had a tumor in mine and it was cancerous. The gland wraps around a nerve in your face that controls movement. The surgery is very rigorous and if the nerve is nicked or touched it can cause paralysis on the side of the face the tumor is in.

The cancer had spread to a lymph node beside my tumor. Because it was now in my lymphatic system the type of cancer I had was Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Your lymphatic system is part of your immune system which affects how you fight infections. It is a blood cancer and a sister cancer to leukemia. I had to undergo chemo and radiation. I lost all my hair and had numerous surgeries to insure there was no cancer anywhere else. I had other surgeries after chemo and radiation because I had active test results and those parts of my body had to be removed. With in a year‘s time I had underwent chemo, radiation and 4 surgeries.

This is was a life altering event that I tried to suppress. That story is for another day on another post. Bottom line is I am a cancer survivor!!! Its been as of today 81/2 years. Early detection is important!

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