Friday, May 3, 2019

Have you?

Have you been wondering where did I disappear?

I was hoping to post all the pictures from both, Santa Cruz and San Francisco shows. Write about my wonderful experience with all the people I got to interact. All I can say is, the shows were a fantastic way to mark over four years period of publishing the book and traveling as a quilt teacher.

This is the latest quilt I finished just before the show in San Francisco. I have not made many quilts with pink fabrics but for some reason here it is!


My all organic pink quilt! It has bits and pieces from previous projects but also has pieces of my skirt from 1992 and my husband's shirt that also was used in Primary Colors Quilt. All organically cut with scissors and hand quilted!

When I was posting process pictures of this quilt on instagram, I would tag it as #pinkisnotmycolor but that was about to change.

On the morning of Tuesday, March 19th, I had all my quilts out for selection for the Q_U_I_L_T San Francisco show. I was busy picking and choosing but at some point I decided to take a break from it and shower instead. 

While I was taking a shower, I found a lump in my breast.

"No, it can't be!" I just had a mammogram!

At first I thought I imagined it. I tried to feel it couple of times and then rushed out of the shower. I got dressed but that fear had already made a home in my mind.

I kept working but I could not stop thinking about that lump and feeling it. My hand would just reach in to confirm what I now already knew as a fact. I guess I was hoping over and over that it wasn't true.

I had a show to hang on Thursday, 21st March. I thought for the time being I will put it aside. Keep working and make the appointment on Monday after the show.

Next three hours, I found myself just focused on that lump than anything else. I even went back in the bathroom, undressed to check if it was a mistake.

It was not a mistake!

I called the doctor's office to make an appointment. I continued packing my quilts in bags making sure that everything I needed for the show was in right order.

The next day, after a physical and a mammogram I came home expecting a call for an ultrasound.

I remember feeling exhausted after the appointment. They were nice to take me in so quickly but surprisingly enough, the doctor thought both my breasts were the same and there was nothing abnormal. I asked, "Don't you feel the lump?" I had to hold her hand and put her finger on the lump so she would feel it. She ordered the mammogram, told me not to worry, "Not every lump ends up being cancer." I came home and crashed on the couch. It wasn't even half an hour, I got a phone call to get an ultrasound done. I made the appointment for Monday, 25th March.

For next three days, I boxed away all my worries and concerns and had a really great time at the show. It was just lovely to be able to talk about my quilts and their stories. The whole time I was thinking, "What a great way to end this journey as a traveling teacher if that is what it will be!"  

On Monday, 25th March, my husband and I went to the hospital for the ultrasound which obviously followed by a core biopsy. We both came back home, again with - "Don't worry, not every lump is cancer. It will be okay. Someone will call you with the results in 3 to 5 days."

Somehow those words were meaningless to me. Deep down in my gut I knew.

The next day around noon I received a phone call. Not 3-5 days... the very next day.

"You have breast cancer."

Four words and my life changed!

It is important to me to share my experience with all of you, my friends who are scattered all over the globe.

I had my routine mammogram early this year on 30 January 2019.

The result of that mammogram was negative.

Exactly six weeks after that I found a lump.

I am thankful for the day I found it. I have a long road ahead of me but I am going to be fine. Thankfully, it is a stage one cancer.

So the reason for the title of this post? 

HAVE YOU?

HAVE YOU had your mammogram in past year?

HAVE YOU done a self breast exam in past month?

HAVE YOU put your health on the back burner for whatever reason?

Life changes in a flash.

After I shared my news, I have already heard from women in my family and friends who do not do a self exam. They will now. 

All you have to do is close your eyes and feel your breasts as if your life depends on it.  IT DOES!

This pink quilt is now my healing quilt. 

I will be carrying it with me to every chemo treatment and cuddle under whenever I feel like it. Yes! pink is my new favorite color! 

Today I am a breast cancer patient and in six months I will be a breast cancer survivor. 

Make that appointment. Don't just stop there. Do your life good by following through at home.










44 comments:

  1. You are so right! Your life - our lives - depend on it! I am so glad you found it early, sending prayers for the best possible outcome! Thank you for sharing your story, it will resonate for so many. I had a similar situation recently, though mine turned out to not be cancer. I had just done a self exam, and went to the doctor for something else (allergy) and my doctor found a breast abnormality. She sent me immediately to the ultrasound, and no cancer was found. That time. You can be sure I will continue my self care! Love and peace as you walk the days ahead. xo

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your health is your business. The fact that you shared it with me and all others shows that you care - so much. Sending you lots of love, hugs and warm wishes. May you heal soon and completely. I will be thinking of you and I am keeping you close to my heart, Didi.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for sharing this, and best wishes for a full recovery.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for sharing this. Your quilt is incredibly beautiful.
    I am praying for you.
    sending much love...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your prayers and love and support.

      Delete
  5. Sujata - The breath went out of me as I read your post. I am so thankful that you listened to your gut and went to the doctor immediately. Take care of yourself and know that you have a legion of us out here sending you healing thoughts and support.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is going to be all okay. Thank you for all the love and healing support. I am going to hold it close. Never underestimate your gut. It has not proved me wrong just yet.

      Delete
  6. Oh, my ...
    ... sending you lots of warmth and good wishes for healing and recovery.
    And your words will make many of us (me included) stop making assumptions and delaying.
    Thank you, and will be thinking of you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Helen,
      Life is too precious and we can not take anything for granted.
      xo

      Delete
  7. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU and take really good care of yourself. Sending hugs and prayers your way.

    ReplyDelete

  8. This story took my breath away...thank you for this reminder to all of us....I will be praying for your return to perfect health.

    ReplyDelete
  9. My thoughts are with you dear Sujata, thank you for sharing because most of us neglect to check for lumps!
    Myrto

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is never too late to start. I was suggested one a month. If we make first of the month as our goal, it may save us from lot of pain.
      love -

      Delete
  10. Good for you for checking and for listening to your instincts. As someone else already shared, you have hundreds upon hundreds of us pulling for you. And Thank You (!) for sharing this message with all of us.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you my dear for sharing. Your journey has taken a turn with this news but you are being positive and courageous. My heart goes out to you and wish you all the goodness you need. Take care of yourself, we will be here when you can be!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Life brings all kinds of surprises on our path. I hope to grow from this experience. Thank you for your kind wishes and love.

      Delete
  12. Good for you Sujata for doing your self exam. I promise to do better and my mammogram is scheduled for June. Thank you so much for sharing, explaining, and caring. You will be well. Enjoy your beautiful, soft (your quilts are so soft!) pink quilt and stay creative. Love from Lindsay

    ReplyDelete
  13. So grateful that you were persistent and prompt resolving the lump. Thank God you did not discount it or put it off. Last year, I suffered a heart attack and it was unlike any of the symptoms you read about. Women's heart attacks do not follow the norm and fast action is necessary In my cardiac rehab, the majority are men. When I asked why, multiple nurses told me most women don't survive because they did not take action soon enough. Please keep us updated.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh I am so sorry for this bad news. I am glad you caught it early, and hope that the treatment goes smoothly and quickly for you and you have a full recovery.

    ReplyDelete
  15. So sorry this is happening to you! I will be keeping you in my thoughts, wishing you a quick and complete recovery.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I follow your posts long ago. I always open them thinkking about let's see what new beautiful sewing have you done!
    In my opinion it is good to share and talk about it with normallity, because that way as you've said, more woman will take care and do a self review. I also had a lump, I found it while I was taking a shower... I had surgery done and it was finished. It was a good one. No treatment.
    My two sons where little and so many things came to my mind at that moment.
    After that, my little son, 3and half was detected with a brain cancer. He died when he was 4 and a half.
    I know we arent used to talk about this things but we have to do it with naturallity and with the aim to help others.
    I live in the Basque Country,Europe, and I found these Indian Doctor Prasanta Banerji who are really good treating cancer cases, and work with the best hospitals in the US. https://www.pbhrfindia.org/
    My soon used to tell me, Mum, please give me the homeopathy. His pain relieved and he almost deidn't have any secondary efects of the treatment which was really really hard...
    All my best wishes to you and your family, my energy and love.
    For sure you will be feeling sooo good in that quilt, it's done with love! I can feel it!!
    Go girl!!!
    Best wishes,

    Eunate

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It must have been so painful to go through your child's death. I can not possibly understand that. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story. It is hard to talk about these things in an open conversation but you never know how and when it will help just one other person.
      I believe in alternative medicine and follow lot of ancient home remedies for many illnesses. My cancer has to be treated instantly since it is of an invasive/aggressive kind. The good news is that it is at stage one and quite treatable. It will be rough for a while before it gets better but it will.

      Delete
  17. Wishing you all the strenght you need and sending you a big warm hug

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am going to take all the love I can get with me today.

      Delete
  18. Wonderful post to remind us to take care of our health. I'll be thinking of you as you receive treatment, and as you say You'll be survivor! Sending you a hug.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Oh Sujata, I am sending you all the healing powers I can muster in my heart. And I thank you for sharing your story with the rest of us who can sometimes be less than diligent with our own health. I think I see healing powers in your pink quilt as well. All the best my quilting friend!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I recently read of a help for any who have cancer. Asparagus is excellent in getting bad stuff out of our bodies! They recommend (out of season) opening a can of asparagus and pureeing it in your blender. Take 4 tablespoons morning and evening, in a hot or cold drink was suggested. Keep unused portion in 'fridge. Drug companies get no $$ from this so doctors do not let you know this. Anyone who has this scare, add this to your daily adgenda! If fresh, lightly steam them and enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love asparagus! Thank you for your kind suggestions. I will keep that in mind.

      Delete
  21. I'm so sorry. That must have been terrifying. I'm so glad that you were attentive to that, even with your busy schedule, and that you went to the doctor right away. Best wishes for a complete recovery.
    Take care,
    Judy

    ReplyDelete
  22. Twenty two years ago I found a tiny lump my gynecologist said was always benign because of the location, etc. A mammogram and subsequent surgery proved him wrong. Luckily it was stage 1, and after radiation therapy and tamoxifen for five years, I'm still here after all these years. The best advice I can give you is to find an oncologist who is unfailingly optimistic, surround yourself with a positive faith, friends and a will to heal completely. Nothing is impossible with the Great Healer! Love and best wishes to you!

    ReplyDelete
  23. How thoughtful and kind of you to share this story. It reminds me to self-check going forward. As others have written, you have saved lives and helped normalize women's healthcare. We become accustomed to helping others in our families and forget to take care of ourselves.
    I'm so glad you're on the mend so quickly. Having the energy to post is a good sign.
    Your pink quilt is beautiful and will be a wonderful patch of warmth as you go through the rest of your treatments. I took one of my quilts to the hospital and found it made the space much homier and comforting.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Reading the comments on IG today I knew I was missing something so I came here to your blog and read this post. Thanks for sharing this story , Sujata, and for reminding us all to be vigilant. Keeping you close during your treatments. ❤️

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thank goodness you found it so early. Please let me thank you for all the beauty you have brought and will continue to bring into this world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Judy!
      I am also thankful that it was caught early.

      Delete
  26. Sujata, I am so sorry to hear this and wish you a speedy recovery. You will be in my prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thanks for the reminder. My sister recently found a lump, also diagnosed stage 1. There is no history in my family, but we still need to care for ourselves. Thank you for sharing with us. All the best wishes for a wonderful outcome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hear more and more that family history does not matter. It is becoming more common now than before. Thank you so much for your well wishes! I too hope your sister's treatment and recovery goes well.

      Delete
  28. I'm sending all good healing thoughts your way. Thank you for opening up and sharing in this post, and spreading your warmth as you always do. You put on a great show at SFQG and we were thrilled to have your great quilts and great energy at the show. We never could have guessed what was going through your mind during the show. All good wishes to you.

    ReplyDelete
  29. The same thing happened to my Mom - had a mammogram and then six weeks later found a lump. I am sending good thoughts your way!

    ReplyDelete
  30. My cousin had the same thing happen. She had jus pt had a negative mammogram and about three months later, boom breast cancer. She had all the right things too, slim, a marathon runner, always ate healthy all her life. One never knows.

    Good luck, you will do just fine!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Oh my gosh. So glad you followed thru and went to the doctor. And it's good you are all together now too. Sending warm, loving thoughts. Hope to see you soon. XXOO

    ReplyDelete
  32. I thought I had posted earlier!! I am so sad to read that you have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Thank goodness you went with your instincts and visited the doctor. You say you have a long road ahead, yes you have, but you have so many friends sending their love to you and thinking of you as travel along this road.
    My love to you Sujata xx

    ReplyDelete
  33. Sujata, I'm so sorry you're going through this but, like those who've already commented, also very glad you listened to what your body was telling you and took action. I've been dragging my feet on the self-exams and the mammogram: will pull up my socks and start paying attention and taking care of myself. In the meantime, thank you for your book and I really, really love "Winds of Change." I've been struggling with a similar project of my own and you've given me some ideas for completing the design. All good wishes.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Love, light,and healing energies today and everyday Sujata! You are in my thoughts and in my heart 💜

    ReplyDelete

I appreciate you taking the time to read my posts. I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you!