I have a wonderful husband, and two little girls. I have always been very active. I don’t drink or smoke, and not one woman in our family that we know of has ever had breast cancer. Once in a blue moon I would randomly check for lumps in my breast. I was in the shower doing a self breast exam, when I felt something that was different than anything I had ever felt before. My stomach sank. I was 31 years old, how could it be cancer?
I made an appointment with my nurse practitioner the next day. Her first comment to me was that statistically there is no way it should be cancer. But, after the ultrasound followed by the biopsy, I got the news that I had not prepared myself for—it was cancer. I didn’t know how to feel; it was all so surreal. I did most of my crying at night, when I thought about it most. My family was calling me, and I kept reassuring them I was fine. I didn’t know how to explain my feeling of helplessness. I was mad, sad, and confused. The question “Why me?” kept going through my head.
The first thing that gave me hope was when a survivor that I barely knew found out that I had breast cancer, and contacted me. She was able to know exactly how I was feeling. That’s when I realized the community of women who would become my family. Although my family and friends were so supportive, and I needed them in every way, they would never understand how I felt inside.I was on the road to being a survivor, and I was determined to fight this with all my heart. Because I caught it in the early stages, my oncologist (who I love) thought all I would need was a lumpectomy. She recommended a surgeon who agreed, but before he took out the tumor he wanted to do an MRI to see how much to take out. This saved my life. The MRI results showed another tumor one that was deeper and bigger than the one that I found.
Now I had two tumors in my breast. They said that I would have to have a mastectomy on the right breast, and it was up to me if I wanted the left one removed as well. I couldn’t imagine ever going through this again, so I decided to go forward with the double mastectomy. Once I felt like I knew everything that was going on, and I had some type of control of my body, I started to feel better. I went into the surgery with a smile on my face. It was the day I would become a survivor.
They took 15 lymph nodes out, all of which were clear. During recovery, I had to rely on others to take care of me, which was hard. It took about six months to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But, I have been cancer free since May 28, 2009. I have my moments of sadness, and there are days I just need to cry. But to know that there are people to talk to really helps me get through those rough days.
I don’t know when the pain ends, but I am so grateful and happy for what I have. It makes me want to live my life to the fullest every day. I believe things happen for a reason; I lived my life on the fast track, and now I have slowed down. I love my children I love my husband, and I love my life!