Karen Gerhardson | CaringBridge

My AWESOME co-workers at SWHHS

Karen Gerhardson

First post: Dec 13, 2017 Latest post: 4 hours ago
Welcome to my CaringBridge website. I am using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. I appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
Two weeks ago today I noticed a lump on my right breast.  Mammograms and an ultrasound were concerning and I was referred to Avera Cancer Center in Sioux Falls for two types of biopsies on my breast which took place on 12/7.  I went to Sioux Falls as they were able to get me in sooner.  Also,  on 12/6 I had a mole removed from my forehead because my CPAP mask was rubbing on it and irritating it.   My doctor performed a punch biopsy to remove the mole.  

Today I met with my doctor to discuss the breast biopsy results.  I have breast cancer.   
The mole from my forehead had also been sent to the lab as standard procedure of my primary doctor, who is amazing.  Those results came back cancerous as well.

I will be having a bilateral mastectomy.   Avera is coordinating the care between the dermatologist and breast surgeon.  For the skin cancer it sounds like I will just need to have a wider and deeper area removed.  For the breast cancer there still needs to be discussion and testing as far as what treatment is needed after surgery, if any.  The breast surgery will take place within the next two weeks as the cancer is invasive and aggressive.  I will be having the surgery in Sioux Falls, but follow up care and any other cancer treatments will be in Marshall.

In my heart, I knew the minute I felt the lump it was cancer.  I've had two weeks to research and prepare.  The skin cancer came as a complete surprise.  We were just removing a nuisance.

In both instances I can truly say, by the  grace of God.  The breast lump was not the most concerning result of last weeks biopsy.  There was an area of calcification that I DIDN'T feel, that is the most concerning.  The lump just started the process for more testing.  For the mole on my forehead, it was just a nuisance.  To think that I changed to a new style of CPAP mask that wouldn't rub, and almost cancelled the appointment to have the mole removed, is scary.

This page is started to keep everyone up to date.  I have amazing people in my life who have been so supportive these past two weeks.  I realized tonight that it is overwhelming trying to keep everyone updated individually.  Thanking God for this page, for an amazing doctor and for dear friends.

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