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October... A month filled with pink ribbons everywhere, pink night at the rodeo, at football games, so on and so forth. All this for breast cancer awareness month. On October 5, I had my annual check up. The doctor asked "Have you been doing your self exams?" I told her actually I had forgotten since my hysterectomy because I don't get that monthly reminder, so she let me feel what she felt. It was a lump about the size of a quarter. She assured me there was no reason to worry because she was sure it was fibroadenoma caused when the hormone replacement therapy produces too much estrogen and causes a growth. So I was scheduled to go to the hospital for a mammogram and ultrasound. The radiologist came in and talked to my husband and me and showed us the measurements and explained that it does not have the shadow cancer cast, therefore he was sure it was just fibroadenoma but that it definitely had to be removed. The next step was to go see the surgeon. The surgeon said "See how the lump has rounded edges and moves around that's fibroadenoma." He then explained that there was less than 20% chance that it was cancer but the lump still needed to come out and that worst-case scenario if it was cancer I would just need a little radiation and all would be good.

On November 5, just five days before my 39th birthday, I went in for the lumpectomy. A simple procedure, they were just supposed to make a small incision and pop it out. Two hours later the surgeon came out and informed my husband that they were wrong and it was indeed cancer. November 12, I had another procedure to check lymph nodes and get a port so I could begin chemotherapy.

After testing it was determined that I have stage 2 Triple Negative BRCA 1 positive breast cancer. I currently am undergoing chemo and will have a double Mastectomy mid-summer.

I continue to stay positive and am taking this journey one day at a time.

Kalina Hesskew
Seguin, TX

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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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