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Went for my 1st mammogram 6-20-08 at age 46, with no clue anything was wrong. Mom went to the hospital 6-22. I was called for another bilateral mammogram 6-25, had ultrasounds too. Had bilateral biopsies 6-30. On 7-2 found out right side was benign fibroadenoma, left invasive ductal carcinoma with DCIS. Had right lumpectomy 7-16 (to be sure it was benign). Genetic testing was negative. All this while Mom was still in hospital. Mom came home 7-23.

On 8-1 had left mastectomy with reconstruction (latissimus dorsi flap and expander inserted). Came home 8-7. Mom was doing better but passed away suddenly 8-12 from a pulmonary embolism. I went to wake & funeral with drains still in! Found out on 8-18 I needed chemo. Mediport inserted 9-2, first chemo 9-5.

Cancer was stage 2A, ER/PR+, nodes negative, intermediate grade. Was to have 4 treatments of Adriamycin & Cytoxan, then 4 of Taxol. 1st treatment went well. Second had me sick for 2 full weeks, 3rd was delayed a week and dosage reduced. Was sick for over a month from that one. Oncologist discontinued chemo, said it was "beating me up too much". Last chemo 10-10.

Had expander removed and implant inserted; mediport removed; & ovaries & tubes removed on 12-17. Am in a clinical study that requires ovarian suppression so I chose removal vs. radiation or monthly lupron injections for 5 years. Will be on exemestane (Aromasin) for 5 years.

Had more reconstruction (on right breast) on 3-2.

No history of breast cancer in family. Dad had prostate cancer, his mom had colon cancer.

I am an RN and all I have experienced this past 9 months will help me be a better nurse. I have had tests I send patients for but never had observed.

Wish you all the best!

Cathy Walsh
Rocky River, OH

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Your click on the "Click Here to Give - it's FREE" button helps fund free mammograms for women in need — low-income, inner-city and minority women whose awareness of breast cancer and opportunity for help is often limited. Your click is paid for by site sponsors, and mammogram funding is provided to clinics throughout the U.S. through grants distributed by With a simple, daily click of the pink "Click Here to Give - it's FREE" button at The Breast Cancer Site, visitors help to provide free mammograms for women in need. Visitors pay nothing. In addition to clicking the pink "Click Here to Give - it's FREE" button, visitors can help more by shopping in The Breast Cancer Site store. With each item purchased, shoppers generate funds that provide free mammograms for women in need.

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