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THE CHRONICLES OF A BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR

October 27, 2011

The middle of August, I realized that a fibrotic cyst I had been watching through mammograms each year had started growing larger. I felt an urgency to find out--I knew if something was growing, something had to be done as quickly as possible. It was time for my yearly mammogram, so I arranged for one on August 31. The mammogram did show the cyst was larger so as soon as I got the report back, I made an appointment with the doctor for Thursday, September 15.

I had a sonogram on Thursday at the clinic, and the report stated that the cyst was now considered a mass with irregular edges. The following day, Friday, the doctor examined the sonogram and encouraged me to have a lumpectomy the following Tuesday, September 20. As it turned out, I just had a Consult with the surgeon on that Tuesday, and a Lumpectomy the following Tuesday, September 27.

Thursday, September 29, the hospital called me and said the doctor wanted to talk to me. I knew right then that it wasn’t good. My son happened to be at my house and he took me to the hospital. The report was “infiltrating poorly defined ductile carcinoma” and, in the doctor’s opinion, the breast would have to be removed. I asked about my right breast and the doctor said it would be better to keep it and watch it with mammograms every year.

My emotions were going everywhere and my mind could hardly wrap itself around what was happening so quickly, but my logic was telling me what needed to be done. A good friend suggested I have both breasts removed (she had gone through the same thing), and my logic agreed. I also talked to other women who wished they would have had both breasts removed. So, I called the doctor and told him my wishes and he agreed, that at my age, there was a good chance of cancer showing up in my other breast.

On Monday, I went to the hospital and did Pre-Op, and on Tuesday, October 4, I had a double mastectomy. The surgical staff was wonderful and the hospital took good care of me. I went home on Thursday with drain tubes and 79 staples and from there my family and home health took over my care.

The doctor also took out three lymph nodes and then we had to wait on that lab report. If the nodes were clean then I could be considered cancer free. We had to wait until the following Tuesday, but finally, I got the report that there was no cancer in the lymph nodes. Can I say there was much rejoicing going on?

The lab report also said that there was already cancer growing in my right breast. Some told me it was a good thing I insisted it be removed. But I think it was a God thing. I think He was the logic urging me to move as quickly as possible and that is why, I think, the cancer did not have a chance to get in my lymph nodes.

So many prayed for me and showed me how much they cared by coming to see me and with cards and flowers and phone calls. (Some people don’t realize how much they are cared for until they die, but I got to experience it while I was still alive).

And prayers were answered. I have had no pain from the operation. (I took some pain medicine to make my children happy - they were afraid I was being brave). I am healing well and am doing so much better than most think I should be. I am almost back to normal and ready to get on with New Beginnings. I am stronger in the Spirit than I have ever been. My plan was for God to remove the cancer from my breast and people would give Him the credit. His plan was and is much bigger and much more far-reaching. Thank you all for being there for me.

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