I found something… that’s what I told my husband. Of course I had already found the lump weeks before that. I kept quiet because I didn’t want to ruin our anniversary and I couldn’t see worrying him if it was nothing to worry about. But when it went past a mammogram, to an ultrasound, and then a needle biopsy, I wanted, no needed, someone to lean on.
The doctors would call me just hours before I was going to go out of town for the weekend and tell me the results were “worrisome.” I scheduled an out patient surgery and my journey with breast cancer at just 36 began.
I battled through chemo and radiation. Lost my hair and wore mostly funky bandannas. I slept, a LOT. The fatigue was intense. Worked through almost all of it. And discovered some friends that really stepped up to help me.
It was almost a year from discovery to the end of treatments. But now I can say I am a 16 year survivor. Grateful for every year I get!
Happy Independence Day! No, I haven’t lost my mind. July 3rd is Independence Day, well at least it is for me. Today is the anniversary of the diagnosis confirming surgery I had for my breast cancer. I had a outpatient surgery and was back home in time to rest before the firework that night. I did not have the energy to go see them, but I could still hear them from my house. So every year there is usually one of the surrounding towns that has fireworks that I go to on the 3rd to celebrate my freedom from cancer.
As the fireworks burst overhead, I sat in my survivor t-shirt oohing and ahhing with the rest of the town and felt alive. It has now been 15 years since that day of the surgery and I am grateful for every single day I get. I can’t stress enough that everyone (yes men too!) should do self-exams for greater chance of early detection. I found the lump less than 4 months after my yearly check-up… some forms grow fast. Know your body and never be afraid of what you find
I still remember the most shocking thing I heard after my treatments were about done. An acquaintance asked me if I made out my will when I found out. It had never even crossed my mind. I had cancer, but the surgeon removed the tumor and my oncologist and radiologist were going to take care that the cancer would not come back. I never doubted that. And I think that positive outlook really got me through.
So now, on the edge of midnight, my Independence Day ends and the USA’s begins. Let’s all celebrate! Anyone have a lighter for this sparkler?
There is often beauty hidden in nature just like there is good that can be found among the bad. Today was an anxiety filled day as it was time for my cancer re-check. 13 years ago I discovered I had breast cancer. I went through the chemotherapy and radiation both. I beat it with the help of some great doctors. Today was bittersweet as after seeing my oncologist all these years I “graduated” and will no longer see him for my yearly mammograms. He kept me going and got me through some rough patches. Even went above and beyond to help me find a doctor that would treat my fibromyalgia. So I am ecstatic to be free of the oncology department, but I am going to miss some real heroes in my book. Cancer is an ugly thing, but there is beauty hidden in anything.