Never in my 60 years did I think I would ever be asked to write about my experience with breast cancer!! I rocked along, happy as a lark, for all these 60 years. I felt sorry for those who had breast cancer and for those who lived and especially died from it.
I remember going to a funeral of a lady about my age a year or so ago who died after a very difficult time with it. Her grandson was in my Sunday school class, and I wanted to show him how much he meant to me by going. I walked in the door and they were handing out pink ribbons for us to put on our suits.
Well, here’s my story:
I always had my yearly mammogram on the week of my birthday, so I would remember, along with my pap smear and bone density test. ( It was always on Spring Break at school which helped.) From my early 30’s I had been taking either birth control pills or hormones for PMS. When there was the big scare over hormones causing breast cancer, I told everyone I would rather have quality of life than quantity. (Which I still believe is true in my case. I was really a B---- during PMS times.)
So, on my 60th birthday I went for my yearly mammogram. The next day they called me and told me I needed to come in for another mammogram. Well, I had had to do that once before, so no big deal. Scotty, my husband, rode with me so we could go and eat and shop after the mammogram. So they did the new mammogram and the tech asked me if I would like to see the shadows on my left breast. She said it could be cancer or just scar tissue, but the head of the department had me come into her office and told me I needed to see a surgeon, that the radiologist said these looked "suspicious". I said ok and she made me an appointment with Dr. Carter, who she said was the best in this field. This was all going rather well for me and I really wasn’t too worried about it until I walked out of her office to the lobby to check out. She came out, the tech who took the mammogram came out and everyone started hugging me. I looked at Scotty and he looked at me like to say, "What’s going on?" Needless to say, it was a hard day and week until I saw Dr. Carter.
We saw Dr. Carter, who took a biopsy. The nurse called me the next day to say it was hormone receptor breast cancer. She told me to look on the internet to find out about it and we scheduled a time to see Dr. Carter again. I was in shock, needless to say.
I had surgery in May to take out the tumor and five lymph nodes to make sure there was no cancer in them. There was not. I met with my oncologist, Dr. Robin and my radiologist oncologist, Dr. Zeigler, and we began radiation treatments. My treatments lasted until August 18th.
I am supposedly cancer free. (I’ll know when we take another mammogram or CT scan in January.) I am a survivor!!!
What got me through it, you ask? My wonderful husband of 22 years, my kids, my grandson, Ethan, my family! But mostly Jesus Christ, my savior!! I wonder how people handle crisis in their lives without Him!!
I have learned to enjoy each day in life, to study God’s word more, to pray more, to love more, to not take for granted one day in my life!!
Thanks, Melissa, for asking me to write about this experience!! You were there when I needed you the most!!
REMEMBER, HAVE YOUR MAMMOGRAMS REGULARLY!!!! IT MAY SAVE YOUR LIFE!! IT DID MINE!!
*Thank you to my Mother for sharing her story. I love you!