I was 35 years old and the mother of three children when I found a lump on my right breast. It was December 23, 1999, and we had just moved into our new home.
The lump was rather large, so I don’t know why I hadn’t discovered it sooner. My mother told me not to worry—she had always had fibroids and I probably did too.
I saw a doctor right after Christmas. He thought it might be fibroids, too, but he sent me for a mammogram (this was my first mammogram). Soon after, he called to tell me that I should see a surgeon.
On January 5, 2000, I had surgery and learned that the lump was malignant. I immediately went to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston where I was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer. I began a treatment regimen that included four rounds of chemotherapy and 33 radiation treatments. I also took tamoxifen.
Later, when I began having back pain, a bone scan was ordered and on June 3, 2002, I learned that the cancer was in my spine. With that diagnosis, I began receiving monthly Lupron injections and Zometa infusions, and also began taking Femara.
It has been three years since that diagnosis, and I am still receiving the injections and taking Femara. I thank God that I have breast cancer at a time when treatment can keep me alive and well for a long period of time!