Early detection....

My journey began November 2013 with a regular mammogram. After several more appointments, MRI, and bilateral biopsy, I received the news in February 2014. I had cancer in both breasts. Due to mammogram and MRI the cancer was detected at stage I. I had a lumpectomy and sentinel lymph node biopsy. Lymph nodes were negative but the margins on the right side weren’t clear and due to a dislodging of the needle localization, the marker remained in the left breast even though the breast surgeon removed a significant amount from the suspected location. After discussions with the surgeon I decided to have a bilateral mastectomy; this was not an easy decision for me. Within two weeks I was back in surgery. Final diagnosis was multifocal breast cancer. At my appointment with the oncologist he explained how cancer is staged and recommended treatments for the various stages. He then discussed my cancer; after an hour and a half (thank goodness we were the last appointment of the day) my husband looked at him and said, “So you’ve spent the last hour and a half talking to us, to tell us that she won’t be needing any treatment.” The oncologist confirmed this and said that due to the small size thanks to early detection and bilateral mastectomies that I wouldn’t need any further treatment. In August 2014 I had implant surgery. I know reconstruction is a process that will take time and several procedures before I can truly look at myself in the mirror. I guess if you can consider someone fortunate with a breast cancer diagnosis…that would be me. Even though breast cancer has left me with mental, emotional, and physical scars, early detection saved me from having to endure chemo and radiation.
Carlisle, PA