A Weight Lifted

This. This is the best thing I’ve read all day. Actually the best bit of news I’ve had for several months.

Do you mind if I get a bit personal, dear readers? I’ve been itching to write about this since leaving the radiology office yesterday.

As you know, I have handled a rapid decline of my mother’s health and mental status with little or no help from family. In early March, the decision was made to move Mom to a nursing facility to better manage her care. Her house is in the process of being sold and I have made plans to move elsewhere in Philly. During this horribly stressful time, I kept noticing a dull aching pain in my right breast that did not seem to resolve.  At first I thought I pulled a chest muscle but the pain persisted. There is a history of breast cancer in my family and I make sure check the Ta-Ta’s regularly. The only symptom found was this persistent ache; no discharge or lumps were noticed.

In May I found time to schedule an appointment for a mammogram. The results of the mammogram came back negative and a follow up visit with my primary care physician noted no lumps or discharge on exam.  However, I continued to have a niggling doubt and requested an ultrasound study. Of course, a suspicious echo density was found on this scan and immediately went to def-con 10 emotionally. It was only then I shared the results with friends and family, up till then I kept my fears and worry to myself while handling the other issues in my life.

A week later, which dragged on for a thousand years, a second ultrasound revealed the echo density seen earlier was very dense tissue, not cancer.  At that point, a weight was lifted and my fears were dampened. For months, I shared my concern about breast cancer with no one and that was a huge mistake.  Talk to someone. Holding in the fear and worry without a chance to vent toxic thoughts is damaging to body and mind.

Although this turned out to be good news for me, it revealed that I have an excellent circle of supportive friends and that knowledge humbles me.  A few of them are in the process of kicking cancer to the curb. One of them is Bill Hobbs, a good man and fantastic photographer, who will have a long, well-lived life (which will include a hike to the summit of Kilimanjaro). Right now, he could use some help while undergoing radiation treatment. In a message on posted on Instagram , Bill shares how you can help in his recovery:

I’ll be starting radiation treatment. I continue to seek to raise the money to cover all of the medical and related expenses that aren’t covered by my health insurance by selling prints of my photographic artwork. If you’d like to help, please visit my website – www.billhobbs.com – or my Flickr page at flickr.com/billhobbs, and select an image and send me a message. Prints are about 12×8, matted and signed, for $100, or I can do an un-matted print of 15×10 for that price, or an un-matted print of 18×12 for $150. Larger prints are available – message me for the price. There’s a contact form on my website to email me or you can email me at bill@billhobbs.com.



Go check out Bill’s photographs and if you can, help support his defeat of cancer. Remember, it is always a good day when we kick cancer’s ass.



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  • Physics Geek

    Kick cancer’s ass. That is something I wholeheartedly support.

    Glad you’re okay.

  • TaniaGail

    Thanks for all your kind words and thoughts during this time. I’m am so very grateful for them.

  • PapaMAS

    Thank God it wasn’t the big C. Kudos to you for carrying on through it, despite how hard it was.

  • rochester_veteran

    So relieved to get the news that this was not cancer, Tania! I was so worried about you! A whole lotta love sent your way!