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A frequent misconception is that breast cancer always manifests as a lump; it is not always a lump that you are looking for, but a change from what is normal for you, as Jasmine discovered. In 1992 when she was fifty-five Jasmine was making a wedding dress for her daughter. She put the ache in her arm down to the job in hand and to rheumatism. The pain built up and a few weeks later she was prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs. Nothing worked. Eventually she was sent for a full check-up to include a venogram, mammogram, CAT scan and a bone scan. It was determined that she had breast cancer, despite a mammogram a year earlier that had shown calcifications but had been deemed to be all right. All Jasmine’s lymph glands were affected and had attached to a vein, causing a blockage and the pain. At the time Jasmine was furious and vented her anger on all around her. She simply couldn’t believe this was happening to her.
Although Jasmine still doesn’t like to look at the wound left by the mastectomy, she is glad, as she puts it, ‘to have literally got it off my chest’. Despite her fury when she was diagnosed and her reaction of venting her frustration on all around her, Jasmine now has a particularly bright outlook on life and wakes up in the morning saying ‘Hello, world.’ She has learnt to manage her stress and has decided that many things are simply not worth worrying about. One way of helping herself to feel better about her experience is to do lots of charity work to help others. Jasmine found that meditation helped her enormously and yoga helped her to regain the use of her arm. In the final analysis her husband is less worried about the mastectomy than she is, and he is adamant that he would rather have her with one breast than no. have her at all!
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