Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Breast Cancer

One day I was walking down the stairs to the basement to do the laundry when I could feel a heaviness in my left breast. First I didn't think anything about it. This feeling of heaviness continued for about two weeks. One day I was watching Dr. Oz and he was talking about breast cancer. I thought to myself that I haven't had a mammogram in five years. I also remembered that my aunt on my mother's side and my grandmother were both breast cancer survivors. This prompted me to make and appointment to get a mammogram done. I went in for my mammogram and they called me to speak to the doctor. They then informed me that they saw a mass in my left breast. My husband was there beside me and I began to cry. They told me that they wanted to do a biopsy right away. Everything was a blur for the next week or so just waiting. I was made an appointment to see a surgeon and talk about getting a lumpectomy. I was very scared but remembered that I come from a family of survivors. I was scheduled a month later to get the lump removed. The lumpectomy went great and they got it all out. After the surgery I was informed by the doctor that the lump had doubled in size in just a month. He said that I was very lucky that they had found it when they did or it would have spread. How I begin my 25 sessions of radiation therapy. Every day for 25 days my husband accompanied me to my therapy sessions. I wasn't afraid at first, then I thought about all the radiation that my body was getting. Every day that I went I would see men and women in the waiting area along with me having to get chemo therapy. I thought about how lucky I was that I did not have to go through that. It was day 25 and 3 days after my 50th birthday that I got to ring the bell. My journey was not over yet. I had a monthly appointment to see an oncologist. This meant blood test and screenings every month and 5 years of taking hormone blockers. The tatoos markers from the radiation and the scar from the lumpectomy are a constant reminder of surviving this journey. In the mean time I had gone to see the ON/GYN because my periods every month were very heavy. I could go through a box of tampons in a day, that's how bad it was. I had also gone to get an ultra sound on my uterus. That is when they had found a ovarian cyst the size of a golf ball. They had also found multiple fibroid tumors and my uterus was swollen. Here we go again I thought to myself. My doctor had advised me to get a hysterectomy. I was 50 years old and not planning on having anymore children I made an appointment to get the procedure done just 3 months after my last radiation session. After getting the hysterectomy done the nightmare began. I went into menopause mode. My poor family having to deal with me having PMS 24/7. i called my doctor and they gave me a subscription to help with my moods. It's been almost 5 years since this journey began. I am still cancer free and taking my meds. Please make sure that you get your mammogram done, especially if you have a history of breast cancer in your family. We all hate going to see the gynecologist, but it may prevent you from going through what I had to.