Author Archives: April Yablonsky

Good News

I just wanted to send a quick update on last Friday’s mammogram. The results said that there were no significant changes, and I was given the all clear! It was a tough week for sure, but everything turned out well. I feel very lucky.
Some other good news I would like to share: My husband and I bought our first home last week! We are very excited to be first-time homeowners, and look forward to moving in by month’s end. Happy December, everyone!

 

Fear of Recurrence

One of the challenges of being a breast cancer survivor is the fear of recurrence. It’s a strange fear for me at this point, more than four years out from the end of my treatment. I don’t look like a cancer survivor anymore, and most days I don’t feel like one. Most of my coworkers don’t even know I have been through cancer, and I would think that it would surprise them, given that I am just 33 years old. My breast cancer is no longer a regular topic of conversation among my family and friends. It just seems further …

 

Too Much Breast Cancer Screening?

I came across an article last week about screenings for breast cancer in the UK and whether they cause unnecessary treatment for some women. The recommended screening in the UK is once every three years for women between the ages of 50 and 70. I would recommend reading this very interesting article, which can be found here.
On a day where healthcare is at the forefront of many people’s vote, it is fascinating to see a small glimpse into the healthcare system of a different country and how it may effect breast cancer screening and treatment.

Tags: Breast Cancer, breast cancer screening, healthcare …

 

Breast Cancer and Your Environment

As I have been preparing to (hopefully!) purchase my first home, I have been thinking a lot about how to make sure my new environment is as safe as possible in light of my history of breast cancer. It’s a funny coincidence that I ran into an article yesterday on MSN.com about this very thing. It’s worth a read I think, and worth thinking about, especially if you’re a cancer survivor.
Certainly, you don’t have to drive yourself crazy obsessively reading labels and researching the safety of everything you bring into your home, or come into contact with. However, as a …

 

Testing for Radon in Homes – Being a Cancer-Conscious Homeowner

My husband and I are looking to purchase our first home. The process has been very exciting and we have looked at dozens of homes in the past year. We think we have found one and are going through the process. Hopefully we will know in a few weeks!
One thing I was interested to learn about while researching different inspections for homes is radon. Radon is a radioactive gas which comes from the natural decay of uranium that is found in nearly all soils. It typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through …

 

Respecting Breast Cancer

Last week I wrote about my love/hate relationship with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and I thought maybe I was a bit harsh. Then I came across save2ndbase.com and decided that I was not. Women are dying of breast cancer – almost 40,000 in the U.S. last year alone, according to breastcancer.org. I know that this charity was founded by a woman who lost her battle to breast cancer, and I do find her sense of humor admirable. But as a survivor, I also find this merchandise offensive.
This is about more than breasts, or ta ta’s, or whatever else you want …

 

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

I have a love/hate relationship with Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago in September, just two weeks before the beginning of October, which I had previously never thought of as breast cancer awareness month. Two weeks after my diagnosis, my life became a pink nightmare. As I struggled with treatment options and testing, breast cancer ruled my life. I was constantly worried and upset. The reminders at every restaurant, grocery store, on tee shirts, etc. seemed like a cruel joke.
I remember at one point a few weeks after diagnosis, I took a package …

 

Five Year Milestone

A couple of weeks ago marked the five-year anniversary of my breast cancer diagnosis. It has brought up many feelings, both positive and negative about my diagnosis and treatment (both physical and mental). It was a great time to reflect on how far I have come both physically and emotionally from the shock and devastation of diagnosis, and the accompanying months of treatment.
Life before and after cancer have been vastly different for me. I know that my age likely made a big difference in how I think about this time – I was 28 at the time of diagnosis – …

 

Breast Cancer Misconceptions

With Breast Cancer Awareness Month fast approaching, I checked out the web for some misconceptions about breast cancer. It turns out there are many! Here are the top 10 from fellow breast cancer survivor, Sheryl Kraft, which can also be found here:
 
1. Breast pain is a symptom of breast cancer. That’s rarely the case; breast cancer, especially early breast cancer, usually does not cause pain and may exhibit no noticeable symptoms. Most aches, pains or tenderness can be attributed to things like fibrocystic breast changes and the rise and fall of hormones, or a benign fluid-filled sac (a cyst), which …

 

Be Your Own Advocate: A Reminder

I recently saw my radiation oncologist for my annual visit. It’s the quickest and easiest of my check-ups. There are no test results, blood draws, or anything. Just a quick exam, some easy questions and I am on my way. It was more of the same this time, and my doctor was as pleasant and quick as always.
At the end of our visit, he asked me if I had my arm measured yet and I said no. He told me that he would arrange for it and insisted that I wait and have it done. As you likely know, women …