15 October, 2019

Patient Perspective - Breast Cancer Thriver Story

Patient Perspective - Breast Cancer Thriver Story


Your story really underscores the importance of self-checking.
I was 39 when my breast cancer was diagnosed. I was thinking, “Next year, I’ll be starting annual screening.” But my partner felt a lump, and on Christmas Eve nine years ago, he told me it felt bigger. I was really blindsided.

What happened next?
I went to the urgent care where I worked at the time, and they said I needed to get a mammogram. The mammo came back positive, as did the ultrasound, so I went in for biopsy, and they found three masses in one breast. It was staged at 3A. I didn’t have the option of a lumpectomy or radiation—just straight into surgery. 

Talk about the emotional impact. 
After surgery, they said the nodes came back negative, but in my follow-up ten days later, they said it was a false negative. So I had to go in 12 days after the first surgery to have all nodes removed. I thought I would have a very upset and why-me reaction, but for me not making it was not an option. I had three little ones at home—5, 7, and 9 years old—so I had to make it for my children. I always had an optimistic outlook. Not making it never even crossed my mind. I didn’t break down. My kids gave me the strength to continue. 

What do you want other women to know? 
Obviously have a mammogram every year, but you should also self-check every month. Get to know what you feel like and what shouldn’t be there. I work at RadNet, so it’s easy for me to have my screening done every year, and my follow-up ultrasounds. The cancer hasn’t recurred. I’ll be ten years out in March! You have to be pro-active. 

15 October, 2019


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