2010….what a GREAT year for me! I had a beautiful family, I started my own photography business, then I heard the words “you have breast cancer”. Okay, so that last part wasn’t GREAT…but it did change my life for the BETTER.
In September 2010, I felt a lump that seemed to be on my rib, so it was hard for me to determine what it was. So, I ignored it for a month. When it didn’t go away, I went to the doctors. The doctor felt it, and said, “I really don’t think it’s anything to worry about” giving me that look as if to say “you are only 37, you can’t have breast cancer”. Luckily, I went with my gut. What followed was a mammogram, ultrasound, and a biopsy all within a few days. That following Friday I was told that I had breast cancer, DCIS. PHEW…I thought. That is the best type to have…if you have to have any. I was told I would only need sugery to remove the disease, radiation for 6 weeks, and I would have to take Tamoxafin for 5 years. Okay, I can handle that, at least I can keep my breasts and my hair!
The next few months proved my road wouldn’t be so easy. Following 2 MRI’s, a second opinion, and 3 surgeries, I learned that my DCIS was widespread through my right breast and I would need a mastectomy. I really didn’t even have to think about it…I told my doctor that I wanted both breasts removed. I didn’t want to go through this ever again, and wanted to do whatever I had to do to make sure of that.
On March 18, 2011, I had a double mastectomy. Both of my surgeons were AWESOME!! I won’t lie, the first few months for me were very hard emotionally. I healed well, but the scars were still there and as big as day (to me). My husband was very supportive, and I wouldn’t have made it through without him and my family.
So here I am, coming up on 6 months post mastectomy. I am having my implant swap in October. My surgeon let me post-pone my surgery for a couple of weeks so that I can walk in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure walk at the end of September. I am here….and I am strong! I may not have the prettiest breasts (yet;)) but I do have my life, my family, and, yes, my career back.
Life just seemed to be going too fast, and I truly believe that breast cancer was put into my life for a reason…to SLOW down, and to strengthen my faith. If you are going through this journey…breathe…you WILL get through it!! Live in the moment and enjoy that moment!
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.