Breast cancer

Tuesday, October 4, 2022 6:29 AM

I have shared some of what has went on recently in my life. Even though I work in healthcare, I neglected my health. I had a breast reduction in April 2021 and wasn’t required to have a mammogram before surgery. A doctor I work for, my PCP, insisted I get a mammogram. I thought there is no history in the family of breast cancer, and I grumbled as I set an appointment 7.5 months after surgery. 

Having mammograms in the past that required ultrasounds or a biopsy due to dense fibrocystic tissue, I wasn’t shocked when my mammogram on December 9th, 2021 showed something that required me to schedule an ultrasound on December 22nd. As I lay on the cold table, I looked and saw an area that was different than other images I had seen previously on screen. On December 28th, I had a biopsy done. The radiologist inserted titanium clips in case the area needed to be looked at again. Tissue removed was beige in color. The following day, I received the news. I had Invasive Ductal Carcinoma of my left breast in the 3:00 position. It turns out that my last mammogram was almost 5 years ago.

On New Year’s Eve, I shared the news with family, friends, and classmates and asked for prayer. On New Year’s Day, I faced my mortality. Being highly spiritual, I never was angry or in denial of my diagnosis and after fully breaking down, I accepted that I chose this as part of my soul contract. I fully gave this to God and accepted whatever fate would come. Friends and family supported me. I will never forget the love I felt during this time and am grateful.

On January 5th, I saw my breast surgeon and on January 18th, I had surgery. I was fortunate to have a choice between mastectomy or lumpectomy with partial internal irradiation. I thought thank God I have a choice and decided on the latter. My 2.1 cm x 1.9 cm tumor was removed, along with five lymph nodes. At my followup appointment, I was told that the cancer was contained to the breast, and I wouldn’t need chemotherapy. On February 16th, I feared a Savi catheter that was placed inside my breast for me to receive radiation. That was more difficult than surgery or twice a day radiation for 5 days. I was blessed as family and friends drove me to each treatment. The doctor says I am cancer free, although I prefer the term no evidence of disease. My first mammogram was clear in June and I will have another in December.

My entire journey for cancer was 77 days that was scary and an emotional filled rollercoaster that consisted of sadness, relief, healing, and blessings is something that is part of me, yet doesn’t define me. I say I am fully living on the borrowed time I have left and don’t take a day for granted. God gave me a gift in allowing me to go more places this year with family and friends. I do things outside my comfort zone like participating in a MUDGIRL run, although almost all of the courses involved me just making it through each. As we begin October, I want to encourage you to have your annual screenings, including a mammogram, prostate screening, and colonoscopy. 

In love and His light,