Karina’s & Karin’s cancer story
Meet the mother and daughter who both got cancer at the same stages of life. Even though the doctors said that the cancer was not hereditary. Read their stories below.
They found something on my screening and asked me back for further checks. Of course, I started to inspect my left breast but couldn’t feel a thing. I was convinced that it was nothing and really didn’t pay any more attention to it. On my second visit, they told me it was too small to notice by hand. Cancer in situ they called it. The stage before it develops to cancer. They wanted to operate the same month, everything had already been scheduled and planned for me. I got the time, what to do, how to wash the day before surgery, what to eat and drink, got a specific bra, and went home to my husband in chock.

I had no experience of hospitals. I was living my best life with work and lots of exercise and seeing family and friends all the time. All of them told me how lucky I was that they found cancer so early. I was mad at them for calling me lucky. I didn’t feel lucky at all.

With my nerves all over the place, my husband dropped me off at the hospital. Because of Covid restrictions, he couldn’t come inside with me.  I felt like I was passed on from place to place. First for x-rays, then to another unit where they put a metal thread into my breast and finally into surgery. I felt like I was walking to the butchers. 
When I met the nurses, I started feeling like I had been lucky after all. They saw my anxiety from miles away and calmed me down. They said this was just a routine for them and made jokes to lift my spirit. They told me how far they have come thanks to research. And about everyday stuff such as gardening and dancing, and that I would dream about the nurses during anesthesia. When I thought that I would get the narcosis via a mask, they laughed and said I have seen too many movies. They held my hand in comfort and soon I was asleep.

The surgery went fine, and they removed the area. But then at check-up, they were unsure if they managed to remove it with enough marginal, so I had to go through a second surgery. The same nurses took care of me, and this time I knew a needle would put me to sleep. No mask. Her hand in mine calmed me down yet again. 

Because my cancer was caught at an early stage, it could be removed by surgery and a few weeks of radiation. No chemo was necessary, and overall, it all went smoothly and quickly. I I’m glad I went for my mammography last October. And I know now that I am one of the fortunate ones to have found my cancer early.

I do feel lucky.  
In 1995 I was 53, the same age as when my daughter found out she had cancer. My journey was quite the opposite from hers. I noticed a lump small as a pea on my right side and pointed this out to the nurse at the annual screening. She told me that it was nothing to worry about. A few months later when a new medical center opened where I lived, I popped in and asked them the same question. Now it had grown to the size of a walnut. I was not worried, just thought that this was a bit unusual. They took some tests, and after that, it all went fast. They scheduled my surgery straight away. I was not nervous, nor did I give it much thought. I don’t why it didn’t bother me. I knew that it would all be fine after they removed it. We don’t have any breast cancer in the family, so this type of cancer wasn’t hereditary. I haven’t been to hospital or needed medical attention before, but I do trust that healthcare workers do everything in their power to help.