It was 2010, I was 45 years old and I had found a lump in my right breast. I made the doctors appointment and was immediately referred for a mammogram and had my appointment within days. I was terrified, not only with what I had found but I had never had a mammogram before. I was quickly put at ease by the technician who administered the test. She was professional, courteous, kind and so very caring. I felt like a person instead of, ”NEXT”. I then went to ultrasound for a biopsy.
Within the week I had my diagnosis, it was stage four inflammatory breast cancer, you could have picked me up off of the floor. I was so prone to cysts (having had an 8 pound cyst removed from my abdomen in 2009 that was full of fluid), I thought it was just a cyst.
I was referred for surgery, but the tumor had grown rapidly as I also have Lupus and I had to commence chemo to shrink it first. So I wrapped my head around it and said, let’s get at it, bring it on!!! I underwent chemo from June every three weeks. During my second treatment my white blood count went to single digits and I was hospitalized for four days. Then during my 6th round of chemo, I broke out in a rash and looked like Freddie Krueger, chemo was stopped. I had my surgery on Aug 3rd , 2011. I elected to have a double mastectomy and 16 lymph nodes were also removed.
Then the great news, IT WAS GONE!!!! The cancer had been contained in the original tumor and had not metastasized anywhere else.
I was, however, Her2 positive and then underwent 18 rounds of IV herceptin treatments, all without a port, all by vein. I will continue to take tamoxifen for five years.
In the middle of my chemo, in 2011, I was very instrumental in raising money for our new Mammogram Machine at our local hospital through our annual ladies golf tournament at Stone Tree. I alone raised $1,000 and obtained over 45 door prizes in the total of the $5,500 total raised at our little tournament. I golfed that day, with no hair, no eyebrows, no eyelashes and was very, very proud to be a part of it.
I also played in the breast cancer volleyball tournament while going through my Herceptin treatments and raised $1,000 for it as well. I was recently asked to drop the puck at our local Pink in the Rink night. I have given a speech at the grand opening of our new Mammography Department and spoke on a local Rogers TV show encouraging others to have their Mammograms!!!!
With the love and support of my husband, Bill, family, friends and the excellent care of our hospital, I remain today, a year and a half later, a breast cancer survivor and I look forward to the day when cancer is only a zodiac sign. But until that time, mammograms are vital in early detection!!
(picture is of me in 2011)
KEEP FIGHTING LIKE A GIRL, I KNOW I DID!! 🙂 xx THIS PAGE IS FANTASTIC, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK AND ENCOURAGEMENT!!
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.