My name is Loretta, and I live in South Carolina. I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 36. I had been having problems for 4 years before I was finally diagnosed. It started when I was pregnant with my daughter, Megan. I woke up one morning when I was about 4 or 5 months pregnant to find blood on my sleep shirt from my nipple. I went to my gynecologist, and he said I probably just had a stopped up milk gland. Well it rocked on, and I had my daughter, and I was still having problems, so I went to my family physician. He did some blood work and sent me for an ultrasound and a mammogram. I was told by the doctor who did the ultrasound that it was just a cyst and that it was nothing to worry about.
So I went about my life, and my problem got worse and worse, and then my dad was diagnosed with cancer and wasn’t given much time to live. So while I was taking my dad back and forth to his doctor, I told my husband that whatever happens with my dad, I was going to go back to the doctor again, because I knew there was something majorly wrong.
So after my dad passed away on February 11, 2009, I called to make an appointment with my gynecologist. This was a month after my dad had passed. My daughter was now 4 years old. My problems had now turned into a knot that you could feel. My gynecologist said that if it was a cyst, he would be able to just aspirate it with a needle. He took a needle and put it in the area that the knot was in, and I could feel the needle scraping it. I knew it was hard and that it wasn’t a good sign. So he made me an appointment to see an oncologist surgeon, and I was to pick up my mammogram and the records of my ultrasound for them to look at.
When I got there they did some blood tests and sent me for another mammogram and ultrasound with a biopsy, and I was to come back in a week. When we went back, they took me and my husband into a little room; we knew it couldn’t be good. When they came in and said that I had cancer, my heart sank. I had just lost my dad to cancer. I was there going back and forth with my grandmother several years right after I had gotten out of high school for her breast cancer. Knowing I had lost them both to this horrible disease, I went home and cried and cried.
I took chemo for six months and radiation for 5 weeks. It was a hard road, but I survived. All I could think about was wanting to see my daughter grow up and be there for her. She is seven years old now, and I enjoy the time we have together, because I know it all could be taken away.
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.