On my 40th birthday, I had a normal mammogram. Still, I had a nagging feeling that something was wrong. I went for an ultrasound and biopsy soon after. I learned that I had stage four cancer in both breasts. When I went to see the surgeon, he told us that my breast cancer was a direct result from the radiation I had as a child (I had cancer when I was 11). The doctor told us that had more doctors known about women who had radiation as a child getting breast cancer, many women would be diagnosed earlier.
I had a thirty hour mastectomy with a tram flap reconstruction. Tram flap is when the surgeon takes your skin, muscle, nerves and blood supply from your abdomen and reroutes it to your breasts. Due to the radiation damage from childhood, my skin died when they tried to sew it together. I ended up having a long recovery and going home with a wound vac on my abdomen. After I recovered from the surgery, I had the chemo. That was torture. I found out I am allergic to anti nausea drugs! I got a staph infection in my port. And after over a year of struggles and lifelong scars, I know how strong I am thanks to family and friends! This year, I have had a recurrence. But I intend to once again..fight like a girl for a knock out!
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.