I never dreamed that I would be affected by cancer of any kind, not at 42 years old anyway. I want to share my story as it is important to be diligent in self checks and clinical exams. I'm not one to run to the physician for much so it wasn't surprising that I was 42 years old I hadn't taken the time to get a mammogram. My mother called my doctor and scheduled the appointment for me. On April 2, 2005 I turned 42 years old, on April 6th, I went in for my mammogram. The following day they called and said I needed to come back because they saw something unusual on the film. I really didn't think too much about it and scheduled my follow-up. I was rushing around and didn't have time for anyone to go with me as I had several appointments that day. I went into the little dressing room, changed into my designer gown and waited for my name to be called. The wait was long and I was felling a bit fidgety. I picked up a brochure on breast cancer and started reading it. Finally, they called me in for my ultrasound. I watched as the technician clicked here and there measuring something on the screen. She left the room and came back in with the radiologist who informed me that I had a large mass and needed to see a surgeon immediately. "Excuse me" you're kidding right? No he wasn't and after coming back to the outpatient room after the surgical biopsy and barely coming to my doctor came in, sat down in a chair with a very serious look on his face and informed me, my husband and my parents that he was 99% sure it was cancer. He told us to come see him in his office the following week and he would have the results from the lab and we would come up with our game plan then. That was the longest week of my life! I had to tell my children that their mother had cancer. I hope none of you ever have to do that! I then had to wait another month to schedule a right mastectomy. We did a lot of praying in that month! I do have to say that with my great friends and family, we had food that could have fed an army. It took another two months for me to start chemo. I was very fortunate as I was only Stage I and my survival rate was good but we still wanted to attack it full force. I did four rounds of chemotherapy. Not fun, doable but not fun. After my second treatment I remember driving to the grocery store and we had the windows in the car open. My youngest was sitting in the backseat and said my hair was blowing all around. That was the start of a week long torture of my hair falling out. Finally, I asked my nephew to come over and shave my head. He did and we laughed and had a great time. (I cried like a baby when I got home) It was done, my hair was gone and it was much better that way. I loved my wig! I hated my wig! I loved my bandannas, I hated my bandannas. It was so much easier getting ready in the morning when I didn't have to fix my hair but that thing was hot! The chemo kicked my butt and I am happy to say 3 years later -
IT WAS WORTH IT! I am here today to tell my story, I was at my son's high school graduation and I will be at my youngest son's graduation too! I am always more than happy to share my story with anyone. If you know someone that has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, please feel free to have them contact me. I had cancer, Cancer didn't have me!! Breast cancer is not a death sentence!!
Please, see your doctor regularly and do your self checks often, the life you are saving is your own!
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