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Amy’s Story (Breast Cancer)

Breast Cancer StoriesIn April 2007, at the age of 31, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, went through treatment, and had the BRCA test done. I didn’t have the gene so I thought I was in the clear.

In May 2013 I received the dreaded call that I had a rare form of breast cancer. I was in complete shock because my mammogram a few weeks prior was normal. Radiation was not an option since I had undergone it in 2007. I was scheduled for a double mastectomy with reconstruction in June 2013. I thought, “I got this, it will be over and done in no time.” When I woke up on June 13th I was in the worst pain of my life and I couldn’t get it under control due to my sensitivity to pain medicine.

It turned out that the cancer was in both breasts. I came home on Father’s Day unable to use my upper body, the pain was terrible. After a few days I wanted to shower, it was then I realized how much I had taken for granted. I couldn’t start my water, couldn’t undress myself, and I had to use a shower chair at the age of 37. My daughter helped me get into the shower and that’s when the emotions hit me. I didn’t have any breasts, I couldn’t wash my own hair or body, couldn’t shave, all I could do was cry. I stood under the water and cried. I had drains coming out both sides of my ribs. I just kept telling myself I was getting new bigger boobs.

I went for my first fill to start the expansion and oh my goodness the pain was awful, it knocked me back down for two more weeks. On June 26th I was having difficulty breathing and I had a sharp pain in my shoulder and back. I laid in my chair for several more hours and the pain continued to worsen. I woke my daughter up and went to the ER. After several hours the doctor managed to get an IV in my neck, ran a CAT scan, and found that a blood clot broke loose and traveled through my heart and broke into pieces landing in my lungs.

After hours of sitting in the hospital it became more painful to breath. I was sent to the ICU and began blood thinner injections. The nurse said death was a possible outcome. There were large clots lodged in my lungs and the bottom portion of my right lung was damaged. All I could think about was not getting a chance to tell my family how much I loved them or not seeing my friends one last time. I couldn’t talk because it hurt too bad to breath. I remember laying in bed just praying to let me wake up and live another day. I knew at this point I was not in control, God was. I knew I needed him to give me the strength to fight because I was tired and panicking. At some point during the night my head began hurting terribly bad. I couldn’t open my eyes and I was throwing up uncontrollably. All I could do was keep my faith and pray God would see me through this.

I woke up! My doctor was amazed I was still here, he didn’t expect me to pull through. As days passed and several tests run, I had tested positive ANA for lupus. I continued on with the expansion process wanting to quit because the pain was so intense, but faith kept me going. My family and friends gave me the strength. I had my second surgery September 25th. Unfortunately, I didn’t get bigger boobs but I ended up with some! The prior radiation treatment had damaged tissue in the right breast so the skin wouldn’t stretch. I am scheduled for my last surgery in December and I will have beat this disease. I still have to fight lupus, but I have no doubt I can and will overcome it!!!!

Submitted 11/04/2013

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.

This story 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.

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  1. Judy Jones

    you are so brave………your story made me cry! God Bless you and always know you are a Survivor! You are my hero♥♥

  2. peggy Ming

    You are the strongest & most beautiful woman I know. You have been through so much I read this and y I cried just thinking of what you have been through. Your a fighter and a hero to many and you will beat this I Love You with all my heart <3

  3. Jeanette

    Dear Amy. I remember the first time I met you; you were so quiet and shy and I thought you were so beautiful. Over the years of getting to know you, you are more beautiful inside and out and one strong woman who I admire for your courage and strength. I know it has been rough going, but you have shown me and everyone you know that you are one tough lady. I know me and Bruce and everyone else you know have been praying for you Amy and will continue to do so. You are loved by many and I know that has given you the strength to carry on!!! God Bless you and your family! Love ya Amy.

  4. Anonymous

    Amy since the day we meet you were a very outgoing strong willed person.
    You take everything head on no matter what
    You are loved an cherished by so many people on this world an beyond
    I hope that one day I too will have the strength an courage
    To face my worst fears.
    You have inspired others that there is hope in the power of prayer an our lord!
    You have so many people standing behind you Amy
    You are a good person
    A loving mother
    Wonderful wife
    A amazing daughter
    And so much more to us!
    God has a bigger plan for you honor that!
    Peggy you have raised a outstanding daughter
    She is a fighter!
    No matter what the odds
    Thank you I much for bringing a hero to us all into this world
    For all of us to be around an get to know so well
    Any is a blessing to all of us!
    We love you
    An we will all be here for you no matter what!!!!

  5. Debbie Bates

    I don’t even know where to begin… You are such a strong person, I am so proud of you ! I am so sorry that you have had to suffer. I know you have a strong support of family and friends, please don’t forget to ask them for help. I wish I could do more for you and make you all better 🙂 I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers ! YOU ARE A SURVIVOR !
    We love you ! Love Always, Debbie, Ty, Bailey and Caitlyn

  6. Sly

    After 6 years of doing the 3 Day, I decided that my 7th year I would join NWLB and one of the first things I learned was about “Amy’s fight”. After reading your message, I must say…What an AMAZING woman YOU are…you are so courageous!! Even in your weakness you ARE strong! What an inspiration to everyone! I have prayed for you and will continue to keep you in my prayers. You are touching many people with your testimony and I can only hope that your story will inspire squillions of people to get onboard with the fight and make donations to the cause, so that we can continue making strides to FINALLY find a total and complete cure so that everyone who is battling this disease can enjoy the life they deserve. God bless you Amy, keep the faith.


    • Amy

      Thank you! It has not an easy recovery, but I am getting there…NWLB was a big part of my strength. God brought them to me…. I was having a terribly bad day, just had a fill and came home to several get well cards.. It just made my day and gave me the strength to keep going! So to all thank you so very much!! My friends always cheered me up, when I needed it. My daughter was my rock at 18! Never did she complain when she had to care for me at all hours of the night. Im sure it wasn’t easy, because I was struggling with giving up my independence and dignity! All of my family gave me the strength to keep going….so many times I just felt like I couldn’t go any further and my husband and my mom kept me strong! I am blessed and very thankful for my support and words of encouragement through this!! I hope a cure is found, because no woman should have to endure this disease!! I will walk 60 miles in 3 days in 2014 to help stomp out breast cancer!!

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