All was well until I read a headline that read something like, “X Percent of Patients Do Not Know Family’s Cancer History.” The headline plus the fact that I have a physical booked for next week morphed into the thinking that I should request my mom’s medical records from the Cross Cancer Institute, because it seemed to me that they would only keep them for so long. I’m thinking 7 years would be the longest? Well, it’s been nearly four since she passed, so tick tock.
At any rate, I called and am now awaiting the release form by fax, but in the meantime, I was told I’d need copies of her will, etc. etc. So, I went and dug those up (belly crawling across the top of the stacks of tupperware in our crawlspace!) and in doing so came across a photocopy of a “progress note” that was written by her doctor for her medical file. There were lots of dates and details about stages and tumor sizes, etc., but what always hammers home to me is that she was first diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 38. Prior to that she’d a few benign “lumps and bumps” (technical term), but 38 years old was the age of diagnosis.
And thus, you see, the freak out.
A calm mind and body prevail now, but I’d like to take this opportunity to remind all my dear friends to take the time to take care of yourselves and practice preventative medicine. You are dear and precious and have loved ones who want you to be here as long as possible. So whether it’s a test or an appointment or whatever, make sure it happens!