Over the course of a month, I had experienced tenderness in my right breast on several occasions. I then began feeling "fever-like" symptoms in one area of my breast. The 3rd instance of this caused suspicion and during a self-breast exam I found a lump. That was on Friday January 13th, 2017.
I vowed to call my doctor first thing on Monday but was a severe ice-storm that day that shut down the city for two days. It was Wednesday before my doctor was open. He scheduled my mammogram that same day, Wednesday January 18th.
That large lump didn't cause much concern during the mammogram. Instead there was another area that was worrisome near the lump. We then did another round of pictures to see the area from a different angle. After what seemed like an eternity, I was sent for an ultrasound. The radiologist explained to me that the 1 inch cyst was fluid filled and another symptom of my Fibrocystic breast disease. The awful lump that caused my scare turned out to be harmless but critical in that it caused me to seek medical attention right away. It was the "mass" that was worrisome and concerning. An invisible mass to me, so deep I wouldn't have felt it. I had a needle biopsy on Monday, January 23rd.
On Thursday January 26th I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. The diagnosis that I had hoped and prayed not to get.
That same day, my doctors connected me with a nurse navigator at the Grand Island Cancer Treatment Center. By the days' end, I had chosen my cancer team.
After spending the better part of 3 days with my team and learning more about my diagnosis and the treatment options available to me, I made a decision.
On Tuesday February 14th, 2017, I will have a bilateral Mastectomy. I will also take a drug for the next 5-10 years to block estrogen and progesterone.
It will take 10-12 days after surgery to get pathology results back to determine if my lymph nodes have malignant cells.
I am also in the process of genetic testing to determine if my cancer was caused by the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 gene mutation. It will take 2-3 weeks to get those lab results back.
The amount of love and support that I have been showered with is simply unbelievable... phone calls, text messages, emails, Facebook messages, cards, gifts, flowers, wine and so many hugs and prayers. The Grand Island Senior High Islanders basketball team, coaching staff and fans and the Kearney High School basketball coaching staff all wore pink in my honor to support our family in my breast cancer diagnosis. The Junior Islanders ordered t-shirts to increase awareness of Breast Cancer. My Wonderful family of co-workers at Hamilton are organizing a meal plan to assist during my recovery. My family and dear friends have gone to appointments with me. I am blessed beyond words to have so many people who love me, support me, believe in me and pray for me. With God, my family and friends by my side, I will face this journey with faith, courage, hope and grace.
My strength comes from God. I have never felt His presence in my life more than I do right now. The past 3 weeks have felt like an eternity and somewhat surreal. But when I think about this awful situation- this awful diagnosis- this awful cancer, I realize that there are so many blessings and so many positives and so much hope. I have a good prognosis. I have a husband who supports me and stay by my side. I have children and grandchildren who put their own emotions aside to support me and help me. I have a mother recovering from a stroke who prays for me every day. I have an incredible number of friends who stand with me. I have a sister and brother who lift me up and remind me just how brave I really am. I have a team of doctors who truly care about me. I have a mother in law and my hubbys family who love me like their own.
Thank you again for the love and support. I do not have words to describe how touched and humbled I am. I love you all.