It was nearly four years ago when I had the mammogram that changed my life. I had had a mammogram every year knowing that no one in my family had ever had breast cancer and, therefore, really was just going through the motions. As a very well-endowed woman, I wasn't able to feel anything on my own but the mammogram showed a spot of concern. The biopsy indicated it was cancer and surgery was scheduled very quickly for a lumpectomy. After the surgery, it was determined that the edges from the removed tissue weren't "clean" so I had another surgery the same week to get rid of more cancerous tissue. I had an amazing surgeon, Dr. Jerri Fant, who did such a great job of explaining everything so clearly. I started chemo with Dr. Diane Wilder for about six months then had six weeks of radiation every day (except weekends). Because so much tissue had been removed and the radiation "cooked" the remaining tissue in the one breast, I never healed on the inside from the surgery. Then another mammogram showed what looked like the cancer may have returned in that same breast. Dr. Fant and I decided it would be best to do the bi-lateral mastectomy at that point. Thankfully, it wasn't cancer again but I was relieved to not have to worry about it again. Dr. Fant worked closely with Dr. Robert Moffett to coordinate the reconstruction of both breasts. The last part of the reconstruction surgery was in December 2012. I have so many stories about this experience but the one that speaks the most to me is that I feel like it was a blessing in so many ways. I was blessed with good doctors who caught the cancer early and took care of me every step of the way. I was blessed with amazing nurses and staff at the oncologist's office -- I plan my follow up visits for days when I know they are in the clinic just so I can see them! I was blessed to meet fellow cancer patients -- some who made it and some who didn't. But each one left an amazing impression on me. I was blessed with great friends and caring individuals who made me feel very special.
For more information on early breast cancer detection click here.
For more information on the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation click here.
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