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Traci’s Story (Breast Cancer)

Traci's Story (Breast Cancer)Long story short (well kinda), I had a script for my first mammogram hanging on my refrigerator for 7 months. I decided to start the New Year off on a healthy note, and scheduled my mammogram on Jan. 5th, 2012. I had put it off because of the fear of pain when my breast was going to be compressed into a pancake. But I sucked it up and had it done, and found that it wasn’t that bad after all. About 4 days later, I found out that I needed to go back to have additional films taken. I was a little nervous, but my friends were trying to convince me that it’s normal to get a call back because this was my first one, and the doctor didn’t have anything for comparison. So I went in for my follow-up films, and then was told I needed to have an ultrasound. Well, I knew what this meant. They saw something suspicious, and didn’t just need extra pictures. I was devastated. After the radiologist finished the ultrasound, he told me that there were two, yes, two, bothersome areas in my left breast that he wanted to biopsy. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

On Jan. 17th, I had my biopsy, 5 tissue samples were taken, and he told me right there after he was finished that “yes, this is cancer”. Wait… what?!?! What did I just hear?!?!? I’m 41, and this was my first mammogram ever, and I don’t have a family history or anything!!! Needless to say I was in shock and disbelief. I was fearful of dying and leaving my three small children and the rest of my family. I wanted to see them do many things. This can’t be true.

Sure enough, 2 days later, on Jan 19th my diagnosis was confirmed by the pathologist, DCIS with intraductal carcinoma grade 2. I was then directed by my PCP to see a breast specialist, who was super fantastic!! She broke it down to the cellular level, drew everything out onto 4 pages of information for me and my family so that we wouldn’t miss anything she had said. I had my surgery, needle localization x 3 with sentinel node biopsy and partial mastectomy on Feb 3rd. My surgeon was able to remove both tumors, and found that I also had LCIS as well.

I have recovered well after the surgery, and have maintained a positive attitude once I got past the shock of my diagnosis. I am currently seeing my oncologist who told me that I was very lucky that these tumors were caught on a mammogram. They were 1 cm and 0.3 cm in size, very small. My lymph nodes tested negative x 4. The tumors were ER + ,PR + ,HER – . My tumors were sent for oncotyping, and I was just notified yesterday by my oncologist that I will not need to undergo chemotherapy. YAY!! I will need 6 weeks of radiation to my entire left breast, and then 5 years of tamoxifen. I want to say that God has truly blessed me with fantastic, caring, and compassionate doctors, and super supportive family and friends!!! They have helped me through this and enable me to fight like a girl!!

Submitted 3-7-2012

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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