Before I share my experience with cancer, I must preface my profound story with how cancer has been a part of my life since I was twelve years old. However, I was not the one affected with the disease then; my mother passed away at age 39 from a very hard fight with breast cancer.
Starting at age 20 I was very diligent about getting mammograms and all the other precautionary exams. I never missed one single mammogram from that point on.
Years later, I lost my father to kidney cancer, and my brother to pancreatic cancer. Both were young and gone too soon. After their deaths, I had the genetic BRACA test, which came back negative. I little sigh of relief at that time.
Ever since my mother’s death, I feared dying from cancer and now with two more close family members deceased, I was frightened that cancer was inevitable.
I always had eaten healthy, no red meat, watched what I ate and always exercised. I valued my health and after witnessing my loved ones become so ill, I wanted to keep healthy my entire life. It was a priority. I had a brand new perspective on life. It was precious and short, and cancer did not discriminate.
Four years ago, (I was 56 yrs old) this month, I found a very tiny lump in my right breast. The worst fear in my life shook me to my core. I had been to my regular mammogram the year before and everything was normal. I did not have health insurance at the time I found the lump and wasn’t going to get it checked. I had such a flood of emotions of all the possible scenarios. I was frozen and beyond scared, but I knew the stories of my mother waiting to long to get to the doctors, so I decided to go get it checked that week. I will never forget the way I felt when the doctor called to tell me the biopsy came back positive for cancer.
I had a lumpectomy and radiation. It’s been four years and I go in for my cancer check up next month. Almost to the 5 year mark!!!!!
I am only writing my story so others can understand the importance of going to the mammogram appointments and SELF EXAMS. The cancer tumor didn’t show up on my regular mammogram the year before. Please do not put off going to the doctors if you feel anything abnormal in your breasts.
I have seen the devastation breast cancer can create to a beautiful woman’s body and the residual effects on her family.
Please get checked and know your body.
Thank you. Love and prayers to all affected with this disease.