On Thursday, June 22nd, I had a contrast enhanced mammogram and 3 ultrasound guided biopsies on my left breast. The medical staff at MD Anderson Cooper Cancer Center were awesome, very thorough and compassionate. After 4 hours of having my breasts squeezed and poked, I got the news... the images clearly revealed I have breast cancer that has spread to the axilla (lymph nodes in the armpit.)
I am sure this news is a shock to many people. It certainly surprised me. While I am a 49 year old woman, an age that the likelihood of breast cancer increases, I foolishly did not think I was at risk. I took great care of myself. I ate healthy and exercised regularly. Actually, I took my fitness very seriously -- I was an obsessed runner. Now, if I only was good about going to the doctor too. That was my downfall. It was not until a painful lump appeared in my armpit that I finally got a (regular) mammogram, my first ever mammogram on June 12th. The results led to further testing. My cancer could have been caught sooner if I followed the recommendations and got annual mammograms starting at age 45.
That is all water under the bridge now. I can only move forward. Certainly many hard days lay ahead. My family and I will need all the love and support we can get. I will try to keep you all updated on this CaringBridge website. It seems the easiest way to quickly get information out to everyone. My spirits are high and I intend to proceed bravely.
I am at the starting line. Ahead of me, a long challenging journey... but I am a runner. As a runner, I know my body is capable of amazing things and can withstand much hardship. So, I begin this run with cancer optimistically.