The news that I had stage 3 breast cancer hit me like a punch in the stomach. Forty-one, married, two kids, and a thriving practice. The words echoed in my head for what seemed like weeks. I felt, in the beginning, that I was living outside my body, watching as events unfolded.
My new “job” was doctor appointments and getting prepared for a TRAM mastectomy with reconstruction. The whole time I prayed that my lymph nodes were not involved. Unfortunately, I also had an axillary dissection because a few were infiltrated with the disease. I’m fortunate to have had two awesome doctors working on me at the same time. Six and a half hours later, I awoke to my husband and friends at my bedside. I felt so loved and blessed despite the fact that everything that was happening to me was beyond my control.
I started chemo on November 9th. My oncologist is tops. It’s not easy and some days are certainly better than others. With the help of Leslie Crawford Moore (How To Lose Your Hair Like a Warrior), I started dealing with the impending hair loss – which was what I was fearing most. I will have six months of chemo, followed by seven weeks of every day radiation, and, finally, five years of Tamoxifen.
This process changes you inside and out. I’m softer inside and more caring. I kiss and hug more. Though I could look at all the bad that has happened, I choose to look at the good. I cry when I need to and mourn for the life that I used to live. But today, and everyday, I embrace the new “AMY” and nourish her strength AND fragility. I am humbly blessed!
The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.