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EJ's daughter's tattoo
EJ's Nipple Tattoo
Captain Edward Wilson Alaska Airlines
T2,Nl,MO: Are these the codes for the engine stages on the Boeing 737-900? No, they are the codes that describe the stages for my breast cancer.I am a 56 year old male airline pilot who recently underwent a left modified radical mastectomy for breast cancer. While on a layover, I felt a stinging sensation under my left nipple. The sensation around my nipple disappeared the following day. A few months later I felt hardness in the same area, but it was not permanent. I inquired to my doctor about this problem. He informed me that it might be a condition called gynecomastia-enlargement of male breast tissue. On my next physical I told my doctor that I wanted the tissue removed. I had the tissue removed and felt fine with just a little soreness under my nipple area. The following week I learned that the pathology report indicated cancerous cells. The news of this report was numbing and overwhelming. The report surprised my doctor, and he wanted to proceed with surgery as soon as possible.
My first reaction was that I needed sometime to comprehend all of this, and I wanted to consult with other specialists regarding my cancer. The diagnosis revealed infiltrating ductal carcinoma, the most common type of breast cancer. During the next two weeks I had several consultations with doctors and an oncologist regarding my case. The hardest day for me was the day that I went to pick up my pathology results from the lab. When I received the slides, I remember feeling the weight of a bowling ball in my hands. I went to my car and just sat for several minutes. The slides had a case number for identification, and I knew that this number was mine.
I underwent the modified radical mastectomy, and kept thinking about this very big word- MASTECTOMY, and what it meant. How would I look, and would I feel different? The surgery itself was fast and my entire family was there for support. The surgeons removed all of the remaining cancerous area along with five lymph nodes. Only one of the nodes was positive. Once the surgery was complete, the road to recovery began. With the cancer removed and the pathology report verified, treatment options followed. My treatments consisted of 12 weeks of chemotherapy using two drugs, followed by 12 weeks with a different drug, in three-week intervals. My test revealed that I was estrogen receptor-positive. Approximately 85 percent of all male breast cancers are positive for this hormone.
I continue with hormone therapy to help block the effects of estrogen in my body. An oncologist determined that I was not a candidate for radiation therapy.The actor Richard Roundtree “Shaft,” underwent a mastectomy several years ago and has spoken about male breast cancer on several talk shows. His article in the April 24, 2000, issue of People magazine is a very interesting one. I have had the pleasure of corresponding with Mr. Roundtree via e-mail and telephone. Male Breast Cancer is rare, but not as rare as one would think. I have been fortunate and will attest that; faith, family, and friends have been the cornerstone to my recovery. This is my case; do not let it be yours. Early detection is the key!!!! T2-tumor more than 2.0 cm but not more than 5.0 cm in greatest dimension - N1-axillary lymph nodes affected (one) - M0-No distant metastasis (spread)