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Virginia’s Story (Breast Cancer)

Virginias Story Breast CancerMy “Miracle” Cancer Story:

The day after Memorial Day I had an 8:00 AM appointment for my annual mammogram. The technician informed me she saw calcium deposits, and I was told I needed an ultrasound. As she spoke, the ultrasound technician just then arrived for work, so I immediately went across the hall for that test. I was then told I would have to wait for the radiologist to read it, and guess what? He just then arrived for work, repeated the ultrasound, deemed the calcium deposits “suspicious” and said I would need a biopsy. The Breast Coordinator just then arrived for work as well. She called the surgeon but was not sure anyone was in the office yet (8:50 AM). But someone was in the office and there had been a cancellation and they could see me at 10:00 AM. So off I went. I met the most warm and wonderful breast surgeon, Dr. Beth DuPree, who gave me my 3rd ultrasound of the day, and asked, “Can you be back here at 1:30 PM so I can do a biopsy?” I replied, “Are you kidding me, I just had my mammogram at 8:00 AM this morning,” and she said, “It never works out this way sweetheart. You must have an angel on your shoulder.” I replied, “I have TWO angels, my dear younger cousins who both lost their battle with breast cancer in their 30s.” So she performed the biopsy and called me two days later with the news. I had cancer. But the “miracle” part of the story is not over. When Dr. DuPree performed my biopsy, she removed a 3.5 mm cancerous tumor that she did not even know was there. It did not show up on the mammogram or any of my 3 ultrasounds. I believe my angel cousins, Mary Fran and Nina, guided her hand to find this cancer so early. Since my diagnosis, I have had a bi-lateral mastectomy, undergone chemotherapy, and lost my hair the same day I lost my mother. Through it all I have had the support of my new Breast Friends who shared their journeys and helped me make informed decisions.

I share my story because telling it gives me strength. It helps me feel empowered, even in a situation that I have no control of (like when I found out I will also need chemotherapy). I tell my story to remind women to GET AN ANNUAL MAMMOGRAM (I faithfully went every year). I tell my story to remind people to focus on the miracles in your life. My miracle has been my focus the past few weeks, not my diagnosis. And despite all I have been through, having breast cancer has changed me from a glass-is-half-empty to a glass-is-half-full person.

Virginia
Pennsylvania
Submitted 08/29/2014

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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