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Something told me to do a self-exam in the shower that night in Dec, 2007, and I felt a lump. The first thing I did was check the other breast, but there wasn't a matching lump. I shared the news with my husband, and then made an appointment with a gynecologist. It had been awhile since I'd been to the doctor, but I found a very compassionate one, and when he didn't feel the lump, he sent me to the hospital for tests. Well, fast forward a couple of months and it turns out that I had stage 2 breast cancer with one affected lymph node. Luckily, where the tumor was located, the surgeon was able to save a lot of the skin, and a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery took place the same day. I also underwent 6 chemo treatments, lost my hair, and am now taking tamoxifen for the next 5 years. When I first heard I had to have chemo, all I could think about was feeling sick and tired. However, I had no nausea, thanks to anti-nausea meds, and was only mildly tired for a couple of days after each treatment. My plans were to go to work between chemo treatments, but a fractured foot sidelined my plans; luckily, I was able to work from home during my chemo treatments. I don't care what I have to take, and for how long; as long as it keeps the cancer from returning, I'm game. I've met many wonderful people on my 'survival' journey, and have had the opportunity to mentor a newly-diagnosed breast cancer patient recently. Plus, after 50+ years of having straight hair, my mom got her wish, and I have a head of curly hair. Thanks to my guardian angels for looking out for me.

Marie
Peekskill, NY

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