Rebecca Southard

First post: Feb 16, 2016 Latest post: Sep 3, 2016
I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Breast Cancer, infiltrating ductal carcinoma on January 7, 2016. It has also spread to my axillary lymph nodes. I've been doing mammograms since about 29 due to a strong family history of breast cancer with my mother being bilateral, her sister, both grandmothers, great grandmother, great aunt and second name a few, and there may be more!! Only a few years ago I found out I have very dense breast tissue which can make it harder to detect malignancy. I found a lump around Christmas and went to my GYN who sent me for a mammogram (I just had one in April 2015) and from there it was followed by an ultrasound, biopsy, MRI, another ultrasound, another biopsy and CT scan.  My malignancy was not seen on the mammogram but was confirmed on the ultrasound.  One piece of advise I can give any of you women is to start your mammograms at 40, if you have family history start earlier, don't wait till 50 like the new American Cancer Society guidelines say!! Find out if you have dense breast tissue, ask your doctor!! If you do, request an ultrasound!!
I'm scheduled to have a bilateral mastectomy with lymph node dissection on February 17.  A few weeks following I will start about 20 weeks of chemotherapy, have a month off and have about 5-7 weeks of radiation.  I will do 10 years of Tamoxifen as well. About 9 months after radiation and my body is healed I will proceed with reconstruction.
 I've always wondered if I would get the dreaded diagnosis like many others in my family & now at 42 I did but I'm here to fight it & I will win!! I have a fantastic support system of family and friends and new friends I've recently met who are breast cancer survivors cheering me along!! But the one thing that keeps me fighting the most is that 10 year old little girl of mine who needs her mother each and every day!! She is the reason to fight and she will keep me strong!! And lastly I have the almighty God guiding me on this long journey. There will be days of wondering if I will ever see around the next corner but he will be right there beside me; guiding me!!
Thank you in advance to all of you who have reached out to me, those who keep praying for me, helped me in any way, mailed cards and gifts!!  I greatly appreciate all the love and support each one of you give!! I love all of you! 

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