With having no history of breast cancer in my family, it never entered into my realm of thinking that I could fall victim to it. I did and it was a very slow entry which bordered on the surreal. Last September, while on a business trip, I noticed a slight discharge out of my right breast. I tried to replicate it again the next day and then the day after and there was nothing there. I chalked it up to yet another one of the lovely experiences of menopause. Fast forward to two weeks later when I had my yearly gynecologist appointment. The doctor asked if I had noticed any changes in my breasts. I mentioned the odd, one-time only discharge. I could see by the look on her face that I was in trouble. She referred me immediately to a Women's Imaging center for a mammogram. After a whirlwind of tests, including a needle biopsy, it was determined I had a papilloma. It was non-cancerous! I was told I needed a quick surgery to remove it - easy peasy. I took off a Thursday and Friday from work and had surgery on October 13th. As promised, I was back to normal by Monday. Surgery was successful and the pathology confirmed the growth was benign. However, the cells surrounding the growth were cancerous. How could that be? I was told I was amazingly lucky to have had the papilloma otherwise the cancer would not have been detected for at least another year. It had been caught very early and a lumpectomy with one or two lymph node removal as a precaution should be scheduled right away. That surgery was performed on November 8th. Unfortunately, while the cancer was small, it had already spread to a lymph node so I wound up having 16 lymph nodes removed instead of 1-2. My "caught really early" prognosis was now Stage II Breast Cancer. And, here I am, needing chemotherapy and radiation to prevent recurrence.
Welcome to my CaringBridge website. I am using it to keep family and friends updated in one place and to document this journey in the hopes of keeping my sanity. I appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.