Michelle O'Connell

First post: Sep 20, 2017 Latest post: Apr 15, 2018
In late July I I found a lump in my right breast. Not overly concerned, my doctor sent me to get a mammogram and ultrasound just to get a better look at it. After reviewing both of these, the radiologist saw the lump, a swollen lymph node, and calcifications and decided the best route was to have a biopsy done on all three spots. Unfortunately, the biopsy came back with two of the spots showing cancer cells. The good news was the lymph node came back negative. On August 28th I found out I had Invasive Ductal Carcinoma and DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma in Situ).

After finding out of the cancer diagnosis, the next steps were genetic testing (because of my age), and meeting with a surgeon who then sent me to have an MRI to get a better picture of where and how large the cancer was. Good news is genetic testing came back negative, which mean two things: less chance of reoccurrence in the futures and I will not pass this on to Maddie or Mason. The results of the MRI showed the cancer covers about 7cm of my breast...some being the invasive ductal carcinoma and some being the DCIS. The doctors classified it as Stage 2 breast cancer.

After all of this information the next appointment was with an Oncologist. Meeting with the Oncologist, Dr. Abdalhadi, was very informative and we learned his approach to treatment was to do chemotherapy first to try and shrink the cancer. Also, doing chemo first gives the doctors and idea of how well the chemo is attacking the cancer cells. The plan is to have chemo once every three weeks, for six treatments. My first treatment will be Wednesday, September 20th and if all goes well and I can stay healthy, we will shoot for chemo to be done in early January. The doctors plan to do surgery about 3-5 weeks after I finish chemo. Since our oncology appointment, in a week's span, I've had an echocardiogram, PET scan, and minor surgery to have my chemo port placed, along with chemotherapy education.

It's been a whirlwind of a month and Ryan and I wanted to find the easiest way for you to follow our story as we navigate through kicking cancer's butt! We plan on updating our page after during/after appointments so you can all stay in the loop of what's happening. Thank you all for your love and support. Please send positive vibes our way! Love you all!

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