Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
Let me start by telling you about my family. My husband is Howard. We had our 45th Wedding Anniversary July 17. I am 60 years old. You can do the math. We have 4 kids. Janice, Annette, Jason, and Nathan. We have 12 Grandkids, some steps but whatever. Also, 7 Great Grandkids. All steps. Too young for that!! I feel blessed by my family and extended family for sure.
I'm not really sure where to start this story. I have had my Mammograms every year, like clockwork since I was 40. Went and saw my Dr. first thing as soon as there was an issue with anything related to that. I've had mastitis, twice in the last 20 years. The last time about 15 years ago. Almost as soon as I had started seeing Dr. Niederee. I remember this very well because when I made my appointment, I told them I felt I had an infection, mastitis, and needed to come in and see the Dr. They scheduled me an appointment. When he came in, he told me there was a very serious Breast Cancer that had the same symptoms, and it wasn't something to take lightly. At the time I thought, well, he's upset that I somewhat diagnosed myself. After all I had just started going to him, that's how I took it. But after going to him for the last 15 years I know he cares about us, his patients.
On July 9th I was taking a shower and noticed some tenderness and redness in my right breast. I knew I would need to see Dr. Niederee as soon as possible, I would call on Monday. I got in at 9:30. Very fast I thought. I laughed to myself and thought, boy I don't want to self diagnose this, so I'll just keep my mouth shut this time. After examining me and making sure I was up to date on my Mammograms he felt like it was probably an infection. Prescribing antibiotics and telling me that if it wasn't gone or much better by 2 weeks to come back. It wasn't so I did. Exactly 2 weeks later. He sent me to a surgeon, Dr. Mark Niederee. I call him Dr. Mark, just makes things easier. He, as well as his last year surgical resident, can't remember his name, but they both thought it was an infection as well and opted another week of antibiotics. Told me to come back in a week. Which I did. In that week it seemed to get bigger. When I went in, he biopsied it right there. I figured I would have to schedule that for later. Nope, right then and there. They told me the results would be in about Tuesday, but to make another appointment for the following Friday. August 12. I hadn't heard anything by Wednesday so I called his office. His nurse called me back. She told me he would go over the results when I came in on Friday. I asked if she could tell me anything and again she told me the same thing. After about 4 tries of this, trying to get her to tell me something I gave up. On Friday, Howard , Annette, and Madison, my granddaughter went in there with me. I knew the news wasn't going to be good. I pretty much knew that when the second round of antibiotics did nothing. He told us the issue with my breast was in fact breast cancer. He told me that he was sending me to an oncologist the next week, made me an appointment for Tuesday. That would be on Aug 16. His name is Dr. Cannon. It's been a whirlwind since. Annette and Amie, my daughter-in-law went to this appointment with me. I didn't think Howard needed to come because he had just went back to work from his shoulder surgery. He told us that it was Inflammatory Breast Cancer. Only 1-5% of all Breast Cancer is this kind. It's fast growing and usually isn't found in a Mammo. I've had blood drawn, PET scan, Porta-Cath put in and an Echocardiogram since then. Oh and an EKG. Which for some reason is always screwed up. Had to have the cardiologist clear me before the surgery to put in the Porta Cath. I will be doing my first chemo treatment on Aug 31. Then I will go back to the Dr. on Sept 6. Then I will find out the results from the testing I had done.