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On November 7th I woke to find an abnormality to my right breast, in shock that it could happen overnight, decided to wait one week to see if things would subside. After icing and hot packing hoping it would go away, I knew something was not right. I then called and had an appointment with my general physician on Friday November 29th. After her examination I was immediately sent for my mammogram and a diagnostic ultrasound. I had been down this road before and had benign cysts detected in years past, so was not surprised by this plan of action. I was then seen by the radiologist and he informed me of not only suspicious areas in my breast but also in my right axillary lymph node and had recommended I have a biopsy of both areas, which was quickly scheduled for the following week. After a long weekend of waiting for test results, I was diagnosed on December 10th with invasive ductal carcinoma. It is the most common breast cancer in women. At this point I was assigned to an oncology care coordinator, who has been a god send. She set me up with a surgery consult on December 12th, and things started happening quickly. With the surgeon consult came the news that because the cancer had spread to my lymph node I would need to have chemotherapy first before surgery. Not the news we wanted but also understanding we needed to keep the cancer from spreading any further. I was explained that my cancer was Stage II due to the size of the tumor. At this point my care coordinator Jill took over and contacted my oncologist for a consult, at which he wanted a CT scan, Bone scan done before our consult. On December 18th we met with my oncologist and found out all my scans came back clear, which was a huge relief. In discussing treatment I found that I would have 6 treatments, 1 every 3 weeks. In moving forward I needed a heart scan and port placed for giving chemo. The heart scan to make sure my heart was strong enough for one of my chemo drugs. My chemo port was placed on December 23rd and my heart scan on the 27th, all went very well and no issues to be had. Christmas came and went with lots of blessings and gratefulness for family and friends. In came the New Year with my first chemo being on January 2nd.
I feel very fortunate to have caught this at an early stage, mostly due to being diligent with my annual mammograms. Do yourself and your loved ones a favor, get checked. One of the toughest things we had to do in our lives was to tell our 17 and 15 year old boys that I had cancer. We told them bad things happen to good people and I did not choose this, but I will beat this!