Don't hesitate to check out suspicious lumps

I was 43 years old and it was Christmas morning 2006 when my husband noticed a lump in my breast. Besides ruining the "mood", I was more concerned with my daughters getting up to see what great wonders this Christmas would bring. I have my annual Mammogram in the Spring (I use my birthday as a reminder) so didn't think much of it. After the "rush" of the Holiday Season, I called the doctor to check out this lump. It took the radiologist 7 different angles on a mammogram to find a 3.2cm mass deep in my right breast. A breast MRI and PET scan showed there was a second lump (2.8cm) behind it and all my lymph nodes were infected. The scan also showed a lump in my neck and speckles behind my breastbone that were sure signs of the cancer spreading. After the biopsy confirmed the worst, I was diagnosed as stage 3 breast cancer in mid January. My Oncologist said if I did not have the lump checked out right away, the cancer would have spread throughout my body by March and I would probably not survive much after June of that year. He also told me that 85% of all breast cancer can be cured, but, the women who don't react to a lump or unusual mammogram become unnecessary fatalities. So after 16 months of Chemo, 37 treatments of Radiation, a double Mastectomy and reconstruction, I am finally on my way to recovery. I now cherish each day God has given me with my family and friends, knowing they are truly blessings.
Traci Kluver
Pleasant Prairie, WI