I am a breast cancer survivor! One of the main reasons I began my blog is because I have been asked repeatedly to share my story. I will share with anyone who will listen if it will help in their journey. If you have come here to my page having been diagnosed with breast cancer, please know that my prayers go out to you and your family. You are not alone in this journey. There are plenty of resources and support to help you. I will be honest in my journey. Know, too, that this is definitely a battle. You will learn patience, strength, hope and the need to let others help.
I am a list maker. Every January I list the doctor visits I will need for the year. I am happy to check off as I complete each visit. So, on January 29, 2015, I went for my yearly mammogram. I am 52 so I have been going for over ten years. Check. Done. Not this time! On February 3, 2015 I received a call from the imaging center that I needed to come back in for a diagnostic mammogram and a possible sonogram. February 17, 2015 I went back to the imaging center. A diagnostic mammogram is just a more in depth way of getting images of the breast. The concentration was on my left breast. The technician took the images. I was asked to wait in a room, while still in my gown. It was pouring rain…and I was very scared. I was having readings of low bone density at the time. While I was at the imaging center my doctor ordered a chest x-ray in order to prescribe the medication. I was asked to the x-ray center where a few images were taken. From there they took me to the sonogram room. I was asked to lie down on a table. The technician spread the gel on my left breast and watched the images on the screen. She told me she was going to get the radiologist. The doctor took one look at the screen and told me that I would need a biopsy. It was at this point the tears came. I knew what was coming. There was a lump on my left breast about a centimeter big. It was on the inner part of my breast towards the center of my chest. Once the radiologist left, the technician had me feel the lump. I was propped toward my right side so that it was prominent. There was no doubt that it was there. The technician comforted me as I cried. Usually, my husband would have been with me. He was working out of town that day. I felt very alone. I called him on the way home to share the news. He was very supportive.
March 2, 2015 my Mom and my husband both accompanied me to the hospital for a breast biopsy. My doctor prescribed Xanax to help with the anxiety. It definitely took the edge off. I was called to the back. I changed into a gown and left my valuables and jewelry in a locker. I sat with many other women who were having the same procedure. When it was my turn I was once again asked to lie down on a table. The doctor gave an injection in the left breast to numb the area. A needle is used to collect tissue from the area in question. It wasn’t as bad as I had worked it out to be in my mind. It was over very quickly. Now it was time to wait.
March 4, 2015 the radiologist called to tell me that I had cancer. In my heart I already knew it, but to here it confirmed was more heartache. The next step was to find a surgeon. I have been going to the same practice for over 25 years. The doctors there delivered both our babies. However, I did not want to go to the hospital they were affiliated with. Plus, I had been seeing a Nurse Practitioner. This was beyond the scope of her practice. I had to speak to a doctor I had never seen. She did not have the results, but would refer me as soon as she received the biopsy results.
March 5, 2015 the referral specialist called. My first choice surgeon was booked! I would be scheduled with his partner. I waited to hear from the surgeon. Of course it was Friday….and they closed at noon. I called to see if the surgeon received the referral. They had received it but it had an error. It would have to wait until Monday! To say I was panicked is an understatement. My anxiety was building. I had a million questions. I cried over the littlest things. I couldn’t sleep.
I coined the phrase “life doesn’t happen in increments, it happens all at one time.” Life goes on even while you have to deal with major situations. All within February and March of 2015 I had a root canal retreat (pretty traumatic), I was job hunting (revising my resume, searching the web, interviewing), I was hired February 12th, I was diagnosed with osteopenia and another doctor on that list that I checked off biopsied a mole on my thigh (non-cancerous….thank God!) Yes, it all seemed overwhelming at the time, but I made it through all of it.
I will share more in my next post about breast cancer. I will break up the posts in different categories so that it will be easier to follow. You can read about meeting my surgeon, meeting my radiation oncologist, my breast MRI, the results of my breast MRI, my second biopsy and sonogram, and my double mastectomy surgery. I hope you will stay with me as I share. Please feel free to email with questions or support.