Remember when a few months ago, Mastodon announced the cancellation of their European tour this summer? The only explanation we had was that it was due to a “personal family matter,” and the band have decided to discuss about those family matters in hopes to save others.
Bassist Troy Sanders decided to post on the band’s Facebook page the reasons for the cancellation and they sadly involved his wife Jeza Sanders being diagnosed with breast cancer. The post reads as follow:
A message from Troy:
Although I generally keep to myself and am very private with my personal life, I recognize this as something bigger than me and needs to be shared.
My wife Jeza was diagnosed with breast cancer in July of this year.
She has already begun treatment and her prognosis is very, very good.
EARLY DETECTION SAVED HER LIFE!
It may save your life, too.
Please encourage the ladies in your life to get screened today.
Thank you … –Troy & Jeza
A letter from Jeza:
Breast cancer runs in my family so I’ve been neurotically checking and re-checking since my early 30’s (now 41). I have yearly mammograms like clockwork. This year was no exception. Nevertheless, it came as a complete shock when just a few short months later I felt a big, fat, weird mass. I immediately ran, clutching my boobs, to the nearest gynecologist who sent me for a diagnostic mammogram & ultrasound and was diagnosed shortly thereafter with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (&%#[email protected]!!!). I was told that this was the “common” type of breast cancer – as if this was somehow supposed to make me feel better and less cancer-y. This particular type starts in the milk ducts and spreads into the surrounding tissue. I should mention that depending on the location of the tumor it sometimes has to become a certain size before you can feel it and can often times be entirely undetectable by mammography because the tumor itself blends in with the breast tissue (as was my case in both scenarios).
I was anxious to get it out of me as fast as humanly possible and to start the treatment after as little healing time as possible. I chose breast conservation (known also as lumpectomy). However, I have yet to be genetically tested for the BRCA gene. If positive, a bilateral (double) mastectomy is recommended. Having technically defied death at this point, I can accept and face just about anything. My boobs served their original and intended purpose magnificently, not to mention having looked pretty cute in alarmingly small bathing suits so I have come to terms with bidding them farewell if necessary.
As of this moment though, I face treatment. Having lived all this time blissfully unaware of my own mortality and now being faced with it, I’ll do absolutely anything to survive. Breast cancer is one of the most researched cancers and for that I feel immensely lucky and eternally grateful. Early detection is optimum, although with all of the advances in science, even later detection can be highly treatable, which leads me to my initial reason for writing this:
No matter how old or how young you are, always listen to your body and always pay attention to your intuition. Over 85% of women who get breast cancer do not have a family history and are taken by complete surprise. There is no rhyme or reason to these malignant cells, so in addition to yearly mammograms please do monthly self checks and if you ever notice anything unusual, have it looked at by your doctor. If for whatever reason they disregard it, get a second opinion. You are your only advocate and awareness is everything. Everything.
Empower yourself, take control and read about the signs and symptoms and early detection at www.nationalbreastcancer.org –Jeza
We can only hope for Jeza’s speedy recovery and send our best wishes to the Sanders and the rest of the band, including family and friends. We would also like to emphasize the spirit of the post and remind everyone to get yourself screened in a regular basis, especially if you feel something strange in your body. Early detection can save your life.