I started this journey in 1999. I had just stopped nursing my son and it was breast cancer awareness month and Rosie O’Donnell was promoting mammograms. I checked my insurance and one before 35 was covered. I went in for my first mammogram and my world started to fall apart. I was diagnosed with DCIS and had to prepare for a mastectomy for January 4, 2000 when the world was supposed to shut down. It didn’t. I had so many problems and then my husband was killed in a car accident within 6 mos of my surgery. I was left a single Mom.
I chose to have my other breast removed so my children would not be orphaned.
Move ahead 10 years and I am sick over and over again. After 3 ER trips with chest pain they did a ct scan and found a 2mm tumor in the original mastectomy breast’s clear zone, TRAM reconstruction and in the chest wall and a 1.2 mm tumor in a lymph node. This time I have Invasive Ductal Carcinoma with the HER2 marker.
I AM a survivor to the core so the only option was to do my homework and find my best options. They haven’t been pretty or fun. I’ve gone through another surgery, months of chemo, weeks of radiation, tons of symptoms and hopefully one more surgery to go.
My point is..every day is a gift no matter what it brings. My family has all had to make sacrifices to support me and they have been phenomenal. Through all of this I choose to believe that life is a gift that I live each day with happiness, compassion and spirit no matter how hard the journey is. And fortunately I’m still here for my children and now my granddaughter…priceless!
Donna L Kline