My Journey From Mammogram to Mastectomy & Beyond

My story begins in the summer of 2008 with a routine mammogram. Within 3 days of that appointment, I was called and received a letter in the mail saying that something on the film looked suspisious for a malignancy. I was in complete shock! How could they be so sure? A core needle biopsy several weeks later showed the mass to be Invasive Ductal Carcinoma....breast cancer. My doctor was in tears. He never saw it coming. The tumor was found in that "extra" tissue he had removed, but without clean margins. It was October 1st, 2008 - the first day of breast cancer awareness month. My husband and I sat there looking at a wig catalog and looked at each other and said, "I can't believe we are doing this". It was surreal. An MRI guided biopsy of the right breast showed Infiltrating Lobular Cancer, only it was on the opposite side of where the first cancer was found. I cried a thousand tears until I could cry no more. I woke up in the darkness of night sobbing at the thought of what I was up against. Chemo therapy, losing my hair....I just wanted to run away to a deserted island and pretend this wasn't happening to me. God knows that only prayers and faith got me through the weeks leading up to my surgery. I had a right breast mastectomy 2 days after my 45th birthday. 12 months of chemo and a tissue expansion followed by an implant. Losing my hair has been the hardest thing I have had to go through, and dealing with the loss of my breast and nipple. But, I enjoy working in my jewelry design studio and online boutique, The Taffy Box dot com as a means of coping.
Woodbridge, VA