My journey began the end of September 2012 when I found a lump in my right outer area. I didn't wait to call my doctor because I was leaving on vacation the following Saturday and when I returned I was traveling for my job to a client site. So on that Monday the doctor took a look and felt the lump saying she wasn't that concerned because it did feel a bit mushy and could be moved. But she was going to schedule a mammogram anyway just to be on the safe side. I wasn't to concerned either as I just had just had a full mammogram and check up in March of 2012. That mammogram's results found calcifications in the left breast in which I was sent for a Sterotopic biopsy as I have breast enhancements and they wanted to ensure they did not get ruptured. The results of that test came back negative for cancer leaving me with such a relief. Breast cancer does not run in my family. So little did I know that five months down the road I would be diagnosed with stage I Invasive Ductal Carcinoma on October 26th of 2012.
When I was told, the news came to me with such a blow. Like somebody punched me in the stomach. Not only was I the first in my family to have any kind of cancer at all, but I was also all of a sudden sitting on an island all by myself with no lifeline (so I thought). Immediately I thought of death and leaving my family. Then I was confused as to why I was chosen for this because I am a health nut and I do work out regularly. I don't salt my food and watch all the sugar I eat. I do live a pretty darn healthy lifestyle. For at least two weeks I walked around in a cloud crying at the drop of a pin. If it weren't for my daughter who knows how long it would have been before I did anything about it. But she researched doctors and put them in my face forcing me to make a decision. She pushed because she knew I felt defeated at that point.
The first weekend I was diagnosed I spent hours with my pathogy report looking up each line and trying to figure out what it all meant. I read everything I could get my hands on. Did it make me feel better about this journey? Absolutely not! But I did learn there are so many others on the same journey that don't want to be here either! Each person's story and outcome is different, but yet we all receive much of the same treatments. But that is the part that scares me. What if I am one where my cancer responds negatively? Because of the lack of family history of cancer, and because I can't think of why or what I have done to cause this, I just feel I have been "picked" already. I am quite sure other breast cancer patients have felt this same way. At least I hope it's normal.
The one thing I did learn was I had caught this early. Altlhough the cancer has broken through the walls and is beginning to invade the other areas, I am still a stage I at this point and my doctor is saying a lumpectomy with radiation and hormone therapy. That is great compared to the many others who have had so much more to endure. But again this is pre-surgery and the final pathogy report is not in. It has been four weeks since being diagnosed. I still feel very distraught and angry many times throughout the day. And I still feel really sad that life as I know it will forever be gone and that a new life is beginning for me. I didn't asked for this change and was quite happy the way my life was progressing. So I still cry each and every day and I'm not even sure why yet. But I do know that this will all pass. I'm scared of not getting well. I know that I have to fight to become healthy again and whole. And I know that because my life is changed forever, I am in charge of how happy and fulfilling it can be. I find I pray to God a lot more now. And I also find I am more forgiving and less judgemental. I think this has made me a better person and I will be able to serve on this earth with a much bigger open mind and heart.
My surgery is November 29th. Three days away. The closer it gets, the more nervous I become. Sleep is minimal due to the hot flashes I get regularly now that I have stopped the Prempro I was on to control them and the fact that I can't put this disease on hold in my mind. Being my cancer feeds off of estrogen and progesterone, I'm sure the Prempro was a factor in excellerating the tumor. All I have to say right now, is wish me luck and pray for my strength to fight until this is gone! As I will for all of us that are fighting this disease, and the many more that will learn they have it the same way we did.
“Breast cancer affects one out of every eight women in their lifetime.”spread the word