Suzan and Carter a few weeks before diagnosis at Stone Mountain, GA.

Suzan Hutchinson

In October, I found a place on my breast that I actually thought was a bug bite. Heeding the advice of a few friends, I made an appointment with my doctor. She immediately scheduled me for a diagnostic mammogram and an ultrasound on Friday, November 12. After this, I had a biopsy on Monday the 15th, and the results of this biopsy were shared with me two days later by the radiologist. She told me that the tumor was malignant and that I had breast cancer. Needless to say I was in shock.

With the help of dear friends, Janet Shomaker and the Konomos family, I was able to get recommendations and appointments with a well-respected surgeon and an oncologist within a few days along with an MRI. My family and I feel so fortunate to have Dr. Dudrick performing the surgery.

The type of cancer that I have is Infiltrating Lobular Carcinoma. It is Estrogen Receptor Positive which makes me a candidate for medication after surgery that will significantly reduce the risk of the cancer coming back, and the tumor is HER2 negative--which is good news. The MRI revealed that the cancer is localized to the one tumor. We will know more about the size of the tumor, the stage of the cancer, and if it has spread to the lymph nodes after the surgery.

Surgery is scheduled for Tuesday, November 30th to remove the tumor and a few lymph nodes.

In the meantime, I have been able to stay unbelievably positive simply because of the unconditional support shown by so many people. The outpouring of love through prayers, phone calls, emails, texts, cards, gifts, laughs at lunch, hugs at Janet's home, and the caring for Carter during appointments has been inspirational and has kept my spirits lifted.  I am fortunate to also have a husband who sees his role in helping me fight this disease as both an honor and a privilege. I think the best gift that I can give my daughter is for her to see me go through this journey with courage, honesty and dignity which has been effortless so far with everyone's help.

I am prepared for a long winter of recovery from surgery, chemo, and radiation; but my hope is that I will be able to continue to be an active and contributing member of my community.

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