I identify with staff writer Suzanne Elliott’s excellent essay of Sept. 14, “Make Sure To Follow Through on Medical Tests,” and wish her well with her health challenge.
The life of my wife, Colleen, was no doubt saved by the mammogram she underwent last year, pursuant to which she was diagnosed with a serious case of breast cancer. Nov. 13, she underwent a double mastectomy at the tender age of 45. She has endured months of chemotherapy and radiation treatment, and suffered every imaginable hellish side effect from both processes, including loss of hair and nails and nausea.
Her will to live, her general good health and fitness, and her strength of character and grit enabled her to survive all of this. She did not complain, and she always maintained a sense of humor about what she was enduring.
The type of mammogram that enabled her cancer to be detected was the relatively new 3-D procedure, designed for those with dense tissue, and which disgracefully, was not covered by our otherwise excellent health insurance at the time. Thankfully, she paid the $60 that was necessary to have it performed. Since then, it has become a covered procedure.
Colleen has returned to her passion for long-distance bicycle riding and is doing well. I am thankful that she is alive and thriving, and am grateful for the procedure that enabled her to have a good outcome and prognosis as well as for the many skilled and compassionate health care providers who were worth their weight in gold.
Upper St. Clair