My battle with Breast Cancer
THE BREAST CANCER DIAGNOSIS
I went through two and a half years of having a mammogram every six months. My doctors were concerned about a deep dark mass in my left breast. Every six months the test reported negative. April of 2014, I received a letter from the Radiology Team informing me that because my last mammogram tested negative, I no longer needed to have a mammogram performed every six months. I was officially backed to having a mammogram performed once a year. I felt normal again.
In May of 2014, I had my annual OB-GYN (Obstetrics and Gynaecology) examination. My doctor took all of the tests and performed the usual breast examination. He made sure I understood how to perform a self test on both breast. He asked all the right questions about how I felt, if there was any pain, sexual activity, etc… I left with a clean bill of health.
In April of 2013, I received a letter from my healthcare provider informing me that I no longer needed to have a mammogram performed every six months. I had just had a mammogram that October/2013. My next mammogram would be in October/2014. That was good news.
Given the good health checkup I received in May of 2014 that informed me everything was okay, why should I be concerned about a Breast Cancer Diagnosis? Although I was working on controlling pain in my lower back, swelling in my legs and feet, fatigue, and trying to get my A1C levels lowered; I’d come down from an A1C of 10.2 in 2013 to an A1C 8.4 in 2014, a Breast Cancer Diagnosis was the farthest thing from my mind.
However, sometime early in June of 2014, I felt a tingling sensation in my left breast. When I showered, my left breast felt like it dropped. When I looked faced forward in a mirror, the left breast did not have the same firm look as the right breast. On June 22, 2014, I had a brief conversation with my baby-brother who had just come home from having his kidney-dialysis. He told me that he was tired and that he would call me back in a few hours; he wanted to update me on his project. That call was around 8pm EST. Around 11:30pm EST my aunt and sister called me via conference to inform me that my baby-brother was rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead on arrival. WOW! Talk about shock!
Now in addition to trying to generate income, volunteer at the polls for my local Primary Election, all of a sudden me, my sister, and my last living brother have to make plans to travel 2000 miles to say goodbye and bury another sibling. It was an extremely stressful time for me. There was a lot going on with my family, my finances, and my health. I distinctively remember that night of my brother’s sudden death, feeling throbbing in my left breast. I cried most of the night. I got up the next day and worked the poll for my candidate as I had promised. (She lost).
On June 29, 2014 in a Caravan, we headed home. By the time we arrived, I felt a small lump in my left breast. I could not sleep on my stomach or left side. I did not tell anyone. Not even my husband. But it bothered me. I knew something was growing in a place it had no business and I knew I was in trouble.
The Funeral for my baby-brother was on July 2, 2014. That day, I got word that another friend and favorite politician back on the East Coast had died of Lung Cancer. I did not know he was ill. We spend an evening together just seven-months prior watching Dallas beat the Redskins and he looked well. I HATE the C-WORD!
All the way back home all I could think about was making an appointment to see my doctor and being told I had Breast Cancer. The lump was getting larger and starting to throb and hurt.
On July 16, 2014, my doctor confirmed there was a large lump. She scheduled an appointment with Radiology for me to have an emergency mammogram and sonogram for August 1, 2014. August 1, 2014, I had the mammogram that was followed immediately by a sonogram and as I thought, the doctors and technician did not liked what they saw. They scheduled an emergency biopsy for August 4, 2014.
On August 6, 2014, one week before my 57th Birthday, my doctor called me with the bad news. I was given the Breast Cancer Diagnosis a 4cmm size lump in my left breast with two cancerous lymph-nodes. The Breast Cancer Diagnosis was an Aggressive Stage 3 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC) Breast Cancer.
I cried like a hurt baby. I cried and cried and cried more. Me and my husband cried. I told a hand full of close friends and family members. On August 12, 2014, I was getting ready to tell my family that was 2000 miles away where we just buried my baby-brother, when we got the call that my 1st Cousin died in his sleep. I chose not to tell them until he had been buried. It was getting to be too much for me to handle. I was sinking into deeper depression. The stress and fear was overwhelming. I prayed, cried, and prayed more. I worshiped and praised my God and thanked him for all that he had already done for me. I did not ask him for anything except peace. I was concerned for my husband who was displaying fear.
I had previously contributed to Breast Cancer Awareness groups and fund-raising functions. I started researching those groups first. What is Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC) Breast Cancer and how were various stages determined? I had to understand that first.
Next I have to learn what rule Oncology played in the process. What type of surgery would I have? What types of treatment would I have; what were the options? How would this illness affect my current health issues? And I had to share all of this with my husband to make decisions because I was scheduled to meet with the Breast Cancer Team on August 19, 2014.
A friend created a fundraiser page for me and my husband. If you could find it in your heart to make a tax deductible contribution we would greatly appreciate it; we always need and appreciate your prayers.
If you or someone you love purchase Breast Cancer items such as clothes, jewelry, inspirational, footwear, etc…please visit this web site for The Breast Cancer Site. A portion of every amount purchased goes towards the Greater Good. Every item you buy helps give mammograms and funds research and care. Purchases here help women in need get a mammogram, and fund breast cancer research. The Breast Cancer Site.