In June of 2006 I was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer. I had noticed that my one breast was larger than the other and since it was near that time of the month, I didn't give it much thought. After my period, I noticed that the breast was still enlarged and seemed red. I call the Dr. for a mammogram (2 yrs since my last) and they stated they wanted to see me first. Since I have had lumpy breasts all my life, I was not concerned. Just have another aspiration and all would be fine. WRONG, after going to the Dr. they immediately sent me for an ultra sound. During the ultra sound they called in a surgeon who stated that they had found something and wanted to do a biopsy right then. I was there alone and scared to death. I had no time to call anyone. I told them to go ahead. They did the biopsy and stated that they would send the results to my surgeon. I did not have surgeon. After I left the hospital, I turned on my cell phone and had 5 messages from my Dr. He wanted me to go to this surgeon's office right away. Not a good sign. So I went to the surgeons office and met my new surgeon. I was so scared, and he explained that it might not be cancer and could just be an infection. He started me on antibiotics and scheduled another appointment for 6 days later. Of course, the antibiotics were not working and in my heart I knew that was not a good sign. As expected he informed me that I did indeed have breast cancer and it was a bad one (is there a good one?) He gave me several books to read and sent me for several scans. I read everything he gave me. I made lists, I cried, I was angry, then I said OK, I can beat this. So my journey began as it has for so many of my sisters. I did 2 treatments of Chemo and the tumor did not shrink. The oncologist I had was said to be the best, but I found him to be cold and he had no compassion. My surgeon, who became my point person was always there for me. I called him in tears after visiting the oncologist and said I'm done, I can't do this any more, all he cares about is money. You see I had health insurance, but it did not cover cancer treatments. The oncologist kept wanting to send me to the hospital for treatment, because he said "you won't have to pay them" That man had no idea what I could afford but just assumed I couldn't pay him. I was done. My surgeon, Dr. C sent me to another oncologist who was simply wonderful. We did 2 more rounds of Chemo and on Sept 26, 2006, I had my mastectomy. It went well and I was back to work in 4 weeks, then I started 4 more rounds of Chemo. After that I did 33 treatments of radiation. I kept getting sicker and sicker during radiation. They all kept saying that it was normal. I knew something was wrong. I lost 40lbs in 2.5 weeks. I couldn't eat and could barely get from the couch to the bed. Less than one week after my last round of radiation I awoke to my mastectomy site completely open and seeping a green liquid. Alot of liquid. My best friend took me to the ER. That's when I found out that my heart valve was not working. I was air lifted to a hospital and almost died. I had a mechanical heart valve put in on April 26th, 2007. I spent 1 week in intensive care and 2 weeks more in the hospital.
Now I am doing great and I owe my life to my surgeon as he was my rock. He helped me every step of the way. He is my Hero and every year on my survivors b-day I send him a card.
We women (and men) are a strong bunch. Cancer is a terrible thing, but we all know what it can not do. We must remember that we here to support each other and that is one reason I have joined this site.
Thank you for letting me ramble on, I haven't done that before and it felt good! May God bless each and every one of you.
| Pounds lost: 18.0