Heather Michalak-Condon Heather's Hope

First post: Mar 8, 2016 Latest post: Jan 11, 2017
How could this be?

     After going for my annual mammogram and being called back for an additional ultrasound, I was told that they wanted to do a biopsy to take a further look at an area on my right breast.  Immediately, I was concerned that it was cancer.  My oncologist had warned me that I had a higher chance of developing breast cancer as a result of my breast being radiated at a young age to treat the Hodgkin's Lymphoma I had in 2000.  However, after talking to numerous friends, many of them had been called back for additional mammograms and biopsies.  They were all given results that were non-cancerous, I decided I too had little to worry about.  I was still  anxious to get the results back that would confirm  I had nothing to worry about.  It was a week ago today (March 25) that I received a call from my primary physician.  After we exchanged greetings, she said “Are you sitting down”  and I joked with her, that of course not because I was with my kids. She replied in a calm and serious voice “No really, are you sitting down?" I knew immediately that she was not calling to share good news.  She continued to talk with me and all I remember hearing was “Heather it is cancer”.  My heart sank, I sat down on my bed trying to catch my breath.  What?  How could this be?  Cancer again?   

     The breast cancer oncologist nurse called the next morning and everything has moved extremely fast since then.  I have Stage One Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.  I am scheduled to have a double mastectomy with reconstruction surgery on Tuesday, March 15th.  This will be the first of two surgeries.  This surgery should be 5 to 6 hours with about 3 weeks of recovery and physical therapy two times a week.  About a month after the surgery, I will begin chemotherapy treatments.  I was told I would have chemotherapy, once a week, for about 5 months.  After meeting with a medical oncologist, I will be provided more information. 

     I want to thank everyone for being so supportive.  I don’t think I could do this without all of my amazing family and friends. Your texts, messages and support have been so encouraging and appreciated.  I'm doing my best to respond to all of you, but if I have not been able to personally contact you, please know much your words mean to me.  

     We’ve created this site to keep family and friends updated. Your continued support and words of encouragement during this time helps me to stay positive and "Fight Like a Girl".
                                                                                            Love, Heather

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