Mammograms may not catch everything
By Nancy McGill
Thayer Central Math Teacher Deb Bulin carried the Titan shield Friday night to the field at the request of the football players to honor Cancer Awareness/Pink Out.
The night before Kenidee Miller played volleyball in Bulin’s honor.
Her son still wears the T-shirt, “Mrs. Bulin’s Army,” made while Bulin was recovering from a double mastectomy in November of 2014.
“There was no chemotherapy or radiation. It went very quickly,” she said.
That it did.
Bulin felt a lump and went to have it checked. Her first biopsy was Nov. 4, 2014, and she had a second biopsy about 10 days later.
The double mastectomy wasn’t required – Bulin was given a choice.
“After I talked to people, I changed my mind,” she said.
She didn’t consult a plastic surgeon. She wanted the surgery over as quickly as possible and plastic surgery would have delayed the masectomy.
“I thought about how much time I would miss. We don’t have a sub that teaches strictly math,” Bulin said.
She was given three choices, a lumpendectomy or removing one breast or two the Friday before Thanksgiving that year.
She asked if she could wait until Christmas break.
“He said no. He never said what kind it was or what stage it was. I had it done and stayed in Lincoln overnight,” Bulin said. “It’s been two years now. I still think about it all the time. I feel good.”
She now takes a breast cancer pill to help reduce the risk of the cancer returning. She will take the pill for five to 10 years
“No one in my family has ever had breast cancer. My three daughters will have to get a baseline mammogram in their early 30s,” she said.
But Bulin warns mammograms may not tell the whole story.
“I could feel it, but it didn’t show up,” she said about the lump. “The mammogram came back fine. People checking their own bodies is very important. It was a pretty large tumor that I just noticed one day.”
After the surgery, Bulin was anxious to return to work.
Her high school math teacher, Rich Hoins, offered to teach her statistics class if she would just stay home for one more week.
“I made the doctor write me a note that I should go back,” she admitted.
Bulin reflected on the support she received.
“It’s neat how a small town pulls together,” she said.
Gracing Mrs. Bulin’s Army T-shirt, is a group of numbers on the cancer ribbon to signify Bulin’s career in numbers.
For the first time, her family will stroll the Making Strides of Lincoln for breast cancer Oct. 23.
Locally, Thayer County Health Services will host its annual Women’s Health Night Oct. 20 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Ag Hall in Deshler.
This year’s theme is “Busting out for Breast Cancer.”