DCIS…..Ductal Carcinoma In Situ. Terrifying name and silent. DCIS can only be detected by screening. No lump….no pain….absolute nothing until it is possibly too late.
I never thought I would be sitting in the Oncology Department of Mediclinic City Hospital, Dubai, waiting for radiotherapy.
I am optimistic. …which is my key word…..I hate the word “positive” as how can I be positive with something negative in me? Strange concept so I have adopted the thought process of being optimistic and optimism is what I have.
I have adhered to my annual mammograms but this year I have been dealt a blow. DCIS (intermediate/high grade) was found in my right breast and I have had to have a lumpectomy to prevent the cells spreading. A course of 25 sessions of radiotherapy and then an anti cancer drug for a minimum of five years to hopefully ensure it never comes back.
We have horrendous breast cancer history in our family but in all the years of sadly dealing with the knowledge of this, not once have any of us heard of DCIS.
DCIS…..Ductal Carcinoma In Situ. Terrifying name and silent. DCIS can only be detected by screening. No lump….no pain….absolute nothing until it is possibly too late. I cannot implore enough to all those women out there about the importance of screening. I had no indication of DCIS last year and if I had left it until later for a mammogram it would have been too late for me.
Please do not dismiss the importance of screening.
I have been truly blessed with amazing family and friends who are my support network…..kept the humour going……been the shoulder to cry on……planning a future….talking and just listening to me.
I have made people laugh with knowing that I was a synchronised swimmer and this has helped me with Deep Inspiration Breath Hold (DIBH) Radiotherapy. Another surviving patient holds the time of 42 seconds but I have smashed the record and reached 1m 08sec. We kept the humour going in the Oncology Department at Mediclinic City Hospital.
My life is full of honest people who offer so much care. I am astounded at the generosity of people….that cup of coffee…..that simple knock at the door and asking “are you ok today?”. Life on our street is that of a great community…. a community of people who care about their neighbours. Walking the dogs and going to the pub! Thank you to everyone and keeping that in mind helps me go forward. This is so rare in Dubai.
I have an anthem…….Flames – Sia/David Guetta…..the lyrics are directed to me and I play it to give me a boost….then punch the air with an exclamation of “YES”.
Social media can have the power to get this message (via my experience) out there, so all women understand that breast screening is so important to detect silent DCIS……do it…..talk…..go viral…..spread the word.
Sandra Robinson, 2021