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On October 5, 2017 I went in for a routine mammogram. I was told I would be called should they see anything abnormal on my screens. About two weeks went by and I thought my screens were good to go. October 30th rolled around and I received a call requesting I come in for additional screening of the right breast. At first I thought this was due to my breast being dense. I think for a brief moment I was concerned it was something more. But I pushed this aside.
Because I couldn’t wait more than a week to find out what’s going on, I asked for the first available appointment. Thankfully it happened to be the next day which was Halloween. After my mammogram the doctor sat me down to discuss the findings. What we were looking at was a bunch of calcifications grouped together in two areas of the breast. My doctor(Dr.W.) suggested a biopsy of both areas. I scheduled my biopsy for November 2nd along with my results date. I really liked this doctor, very knowledgeable, straightforward and caring.
On November 8th I received a call saying my results came in early and would I be interested in coming in that morning. I immediately jumped on it. I called Lucas and he meet me at the medical center. We waited for what seemed like a long while in the waiting room. Once our name was called we were taken to the patient advocate room. They kindly asked us to sit and that’s when I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.
I listened to what the new doctor had to say. My mind was racing. How can this be happening? Am I going to die? I have two young girls. I want to see them grow up, have a career, get married, everything. I have a husband who I want to grow old and travel with. Then I melted in the doctor’s office. After I calmed down I was told I needed to undergo an ultrasound of my lymph nodes. During the ultrasound there was some back and forth talking between the doctor and the nurse. I couldn’t keep quiet anymore. I needed to know what they were looking at. They told Lucas and I there were three lymph nodes that look a bit enlarged but everything around the node looked normal. The enlargement could very well be from the biopsy I had previously. There was one node they just weren’t sure about. A bunch of pictures were taken and I was told to get dressed. Since I was meeting my team of doctors on Monday they could make the decision to have my node biopsied. The very next morning, I received a call saying Dr. W would like you to come back in for a biopsy of the Axilla lymph node. Turns out Dr. Yu showed him the scans and instead of waiting till Monday. Dr. W decided to help the team of doctors and get the biopsy done ASAP.
I am a daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend, stay-at-home mom, part-time substitute teacher, Girl Scout Co-Leader and a volunteer at my children’s school. Now I can add Breast Cancer Fighter. Is this something I was prepared to add? Hell No! Was cancer even on my radar? NOPE!
You know why cancer wasn’t on my radar? Because no one I’m aware of has/had cancer on my mom’s side. I did have a grandma on my dad’s side that had breast cancer. But normally if it’s inherited it’s on the mother’s side. At least this is what I always believed. Now I know cancer can just rear its ugliness. It just happens and there is no real way of knowing why.
Lucas shared the news with Molly and Sarah after we met with the team of doctors. They took it very well. The school has a 1st grader that has been successfully treated for cancer and the teachers have been talking to the students about cancer. Both girls acknowledged that cancer is treatable and they both talked about the girl in school who was treated for cancer. Lucas was very straight forward with the girls and they didn’t have a melt-down like Mom. Lucas relayed that Mom was going to be okay but that she would have to have surgery and take a lot of “medication” (radiation and possibly chemotherapy) in order to get better. Lucas explained that mom would be sick for a while but everything was going to turn out just fine. He also said that we wouldn’t hide anything from them if things change. Both girls wanted to know why Mom didn’t tell them. Lucas explained that mom would have started crying and didn’t want to scare them. Sarah, always the one with a thousand questions, wanted details. “How were they going to get the cancer out? Why does she have to go to the doctor to take medicine? When will she be better (as in what date)?” Lucas answered all of their questions and alleviated their concerns. Lucas also explained that they shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions or ask about things they see or read. When I tucked them into bed that evening they shared the questions they had for me. And I answered all the questions they had for me. Then I kissed my angel and bear goodnight.
It’s been hard sharing my story with family and friends. Now that I’ve told a few people it’s getting a little easier. Please when you see me, don’t feel sorry for me. Feel STRONG for me. Be HEALTHY for me. LOVE like you never loved for me. Please SUPPORT me and my family.
I AM A STRONG WOMAN. I AM A WARRIOR. I AM HEALTHY. I AM FIGHTING BREAST CANCER.