Emily’s Story

Site created on March 24, 2018

I was diagnosed with breast cancer (invasive ductal carcinoma, stage 2, grade 3) on March 9, 2018. I will try to keep this site updated so that you can check it for updates on my condition and treatment plan. Thank you all for your kind words, prayers and support. 

Newest Update

Journal entry by Emily Anderson

Angels come into your life when you least expect it...but when you need them the most.

I've had so many angels who have come to help me over the years...some have stayed, some only stayed a short time.

My most recent angels have been my doctors and nurses at UW Health in Madison. I can not get over how dedicated and compassionate they are to their patients. I have felt like nothing less than royalty when I visit.

I got to see some of my angels this week...I had my recheck with Dr. Afifi, my plastic surgeon and his Physician's Assistant Clare Chandler; and a follow-up appointment with Dr. O'Regan, my oncologist. I had been going to Madison so often prior to my DIEP surgery and then quite a bit that following month (October); now it had been 3 months since I'd been there. I have to admit, I was missing my team! It was so good to see them. I even got to hug my biggest angel of all - Dr. Greenberg's Nurse Sarah. My heart fills with joy and love when I see these amazing medical professionals who saved my life.

I will be having two more surgeries this year; the first will be April 1. These are much smaller, outpatient surgeries. The first will be to fix the symmetry of my breasts; the second to add nipples. Yes I said nipples. Fun stuff! I will be so happy to be "all put back together" after this final surgery...and the team said my scars should heal within a year or so...it's hard to imagine being "back to normal." Looking like my old body will certainly help me feel more normal! If that's even a possibility anymore. I guess it's my "new normal."

Dr. O'Regan found two lumps in my left chest wall; these are most likely benign fat necrosis, which I guess is common after DIEP surgery. They did an ultrasound and a mammogram and could not confirm they were benign; however, they didn't seem too worried about it. I will have another ultrasound a week before my next surgery. As long as the lumps get smaller, there is no concern. If they get bigger, I will have more tests. It was hard not to flash back to the first time I had my breast ultrasound there, when I had cancer...it's hard to believe I can say I'm "No Evidence of Disease" now. But I am! Thanks to my amazing medical team and the prayers of so many who have supported me along the way.

So, I am moving forward, healing, and looking forward to when that second surgery is over, which will likely be late summer or early fall. Then I'm hoping I can finally feel like my journey is over.

Thank you to all the angels in my life...you know who you are. Your love lifts me up.

Love,
Emily

p.s. - the pic is of my husband Tim and me at Green Bush, a pizza parlor in Madison we visited on our way home this week. He is truly my biggest angel of them all. 
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