I have breast cancer. Again. After 17 years. Same breast,same feelings, different cancer, different protocol, increased passion to end breast cancer once and for all.
My sister, Margaret, was diagnosed with breast cancer 20 years ago. After watching what she went through with her mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, I knew I had to get involved and do something. So I helped launch the first Komen Charlotte Race for the Cure in 1997 with a handful of other passionate people.
In 1999, when I was the Co-chair of the Race, I was diagnosed with my first breast cancer. What irony! After a lumpectomy and radiation, I thought my days of dealing with breast cancer were over. Until April. Now I have invasive Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LCIS) in the same left breast, and because this increases my risk for developing breast cancer in my healthy right breast, I have decided to have a bilateral mastectomy with reconstructive surgery.
I have so much for which to be grateful - my wonderful doctors who have guided me so beautifully and given me such excellent care, the significant advances in the treatment of breast cancer in the past 17 years, my AA meetings that continue to teach me to stay focused and take one day at a time, and all of you who are on Team Neel helping me with this journey. I am indeed a very fortunate person!