It was the weekend of 8/2/1986. Life was good and I had been married just under 10 years. My health was great. I had just left an interesting job and was trying to decide what to do next. And then my husband found the lump and life changed in a fleeting moment. On Monday I saw my primary care physician who sent me right up to the surgeron. By Wednesday, I was in the hopital having a biopsy and, sure enough, it was malignant. On Friday I had a mastectomy and, because of the results of those tests, I had one more surgery to put in a Hickman Catheter for chemo and thus began ny least favorite six months. For me, the loss of my hair was by far more more trauatic than the loss of the breast! No one ever caught me with my head uncovered! My husband was by my side every step of the way. We chose for me not to have reconstructive surgery because at that time there were too many complications. Perhaps today I would have made a different decision but I have survived very happily with my external prothesis with very little inconvenience. Would I have chosen to have cancer? Heavens no. Did it change my life? Absolutely! I appreciate the small stuff and I treasure each day that I have and I do not allow myself to get worked up over things I have no control over. I feel that God has blessed me with the ability to be with those who are currently fighting the disease and what a way to give back! I celebrated 25 years cancer free years in August and I thank God for every day.
Barbara L. Baugh
San Antonio, TX