It was January 1998 and I discovered a lump in my right breast. I was a little concerned, but not that much. One day after taking a shower, I looked in the mirror and raised my arm, I saw dimpling around the area where the lump was. This was very troubling to me. Immediately I made an appointment with my gynecologist. She examined me and wanted me to go get a mammogram right away. The mammogram showed a suspicious lump. I would now have to have a biopsy with ultrasound. The ultrasound showed two lumps in the same breast. The pathologist report showed cancer in both lumps. I was referred to a Surgeon Oncologist, who examined me and said that she was pretty sure that we had caught the cancer early. She said, because there were two lumps that I would have to have a mastectomy. My first thought was I can’t lose my breast. But lose it I did. I opted for immediate reconstruction.
When I woke up in the hospital I was told by my doctor, that the cancer was not an early cancer after all. It had spread to 12 lymph nodes, 9 under my arm and 3 by my collarbone. I was now diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. She said that I would need to spend a whole year of my life taking treatments.
My treatments consisted of 6 rounds of chemotherapy. I was then admitted into the hospital for massive chemotherapy, that completely destroyed my bone marrow. This was followed by a bone marrow transplant. This was followed by radiation treatments and daily tamoxifen medication.
The whole time I was going through this, I just kept thinking I can’t leave my family. My son was only 14.
14 years later, I’m still cancer free!