2008 was a very bad year

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