Stephanie Dunn

First post: Sep 1, 2021 Latest post: Feb 13, 2022
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A new journey...I've tried to sit down and write several times...

 

On June 28, 2021, I went to have my yearly mammogram.  When I walked into the office, I recalled a text conversation between several of my dear sorority sisters about choosing to have a 3D mammogram this year if you received the COVID vaccine, because many women were getting callbacks for various reasons related to the shot.  I’m so thankful I remembered to ask to have a 3D scan done.  As I do each year, I didn’t think about this appointment again after I left the office, and then forgot to check the website for my results.  On July 5th while sitting outside of a Starbucks with a friend I got a call from the breast care clinic asking me to come for a follow up mammogram and ultrasound.  I was fortunate enough to get an appointment for July 7th.  I showed up to the appointment, feeling a little uneasy, but just figured they would find another cyst that would need to be aspirated.  I remained calm through the mammogram and the beginning of the ultrasound.  I remained calm when the ultrasound technician left the room to check with the doctor about my scans.  I remained calm when she came back and said she needed to do more scans.  When she began scanning my lymph nodes, I began to get concerned.  Then when she left again and came back to tell me the doctor may come in to do additional scans, I began to worry.  The doctor did indeed come and pointed out the spot that was “of concern to her”.  She didn’t like the way the margins of the area were undefined.  She pointed out that my lymph nodes looked clear, but she wanted me to come bake for a core biopsy.  Ok, so this was concerning, but I still thought it would all be clear and fine.  On July 13th, I showed up with for my core biopsy feeling covered in prayer and God’s peace carrying me (along with the comfort of Steve and Edie).  Everyone was so wonderful at the appointment, and it truly was no big deal.  I went home sore and very tired…realizing I hadn’t slept much over the previous nights.  Two days later, on July 15th, I got a call from the doctor that did my ultrasound who gave me the news that the biopsy showed cancer cells…WHAT?!?!  This doctor gave me a recommendation for a Breast Care Specialist Practice, and I called right away to get the first appointment with the first doctor who had a spot open.  Looking back on it, I realize I truly picked a doctor blindly out of a hat…but as I have learned she is amazing and has treated several other women I know how have gone through this journey.   

 

On July 20th, I had my first appointment with Dr. Stallings, who went over my pathology reports and answered many questions.  I was given my diagnosis of Invasive Mammary Carcinoma with Lobular features, Low Grade Measuring 1.2 cm.  My cancer is fed by estrogen and progesterone and should not be a reoccurring cancer, although it is a spreading type, it is nonaggressive.  This was all good news and if I had to have a breast cancer, apparently this is the one to have.  Doctor Stallings went over my options and referred me for an MRI.  The initial feeling was that I would have a lumpectomy and radiation but would probably not need chemo…great news!  On July 21 I went for my MRI.  Boy was this a joyous experience.  The results came back that the initial spot was double the size originally thought, and there were two additional spots in the same breast that needed to have be biopsied using an MRI.  On July 28th I found myself on the MRI table once again, but this time it was much more emotional and painful.  I have to say the women that were with me during this procedure were truly sent from God.  The procedure took over an hour and was one of the most mentally exhausting and physically difficult experiences  I have been through.  It was the first time I truly cried after being diagnosed.  A few short days later I got a call from Dr. Stallings telling me that these spots were also cancer, and she no longer felt a lumpectomy would be the best surgical option, she now felt a mastectomy was in order. 

 

After meeting with a plastic surgeon on August 16th, It has been decided that I will have a double mastectomy and reconstruction.  Unfortunate in my case these surgeries can not be done at the same time, and I will need to have spacers put in during the time of the mastectomy.  I am anticipating surgery to be at the end of September or the beginning of October and will of course use this site to keep you updated.

 

With all this being said, It is very overwhelming but I have truly had an unbelievable calm and peace that is only provide by God’s love for me.  I am surrounded by prayers and will continue to ask for them during every part of this new journey I find myself on.

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