When I was a newlywed, I had my first benign biopsy. I was 20. Through the years, I’ve had several repeat mammograms and ultrasounds. In August 2010, I had my yearly gynecological exam and received an all clear on my mammogram that September. Just one month later, I found a lump in the shower. My doctor sent me for another mammogram which showed nothing. A follow up ultrasound did. I had a biopsy and my surgeon called me. I had cancer.
I had a lumpectomy and two months after finding the lump in the shower, started my first round of chemotherapy. After six rounds of chemo and 18 weeks of Herceptin, followed by 35 radiation treatments, I am in the midst of taking Letrosole for five years.
By checking myself and finding the lump early, my aggressive cancer was in stage one. My mom died at the age of 93. I want that—to see my seven grandchildren grown up. To be surrounded by my family when it is time. She passed knowing I was doing well, and getting stronger every day. She was an inspiration to me with so much love to give. The love and support I received from my family and friends has been immeasurable, and I have found strength I never knew I had. They continue to “Love me through it, and I am thankful. I hope to reach out to other women by sharing my story that they will care for themselves and be proactive and diligent in doing self exams.