I found the lump during a self-exam in June, 2007, right before my 40th birthday. After a mammogram, ultra sound and lumpectomy, it was confirmed in July that I had Stage I invasive ductal carcinoma. Luckily it did not spread to lymph nodes or other organs. I had a partial mastectomy with chemo, radiation and Herception treatments to follow. I have been very blessed with the support of my family. My 14 year old daughter made me homemade chicken soup to make sure I was eating during my chemo treatments and gave me friendly reminders about taking my meds prior to treatments. She was my nurse maid. My brother, who had hair longer than mine (down to his waist), shaved my head when my hair started falling out and then had me shave his!! He said we were in this together all the way! My mom and sister-in-law went to every treatment with me. My son and daughter-in-law were always giving me moral support and encouragement. I am now on Tamoxifen for the next 5 years and have been cancer free for almost 2 years!
My message for everyone: do regular self-exams and get mammograms. I wasn't supposed to start mammograms for almost another year. It would have been too late for me had I not done a self-exam.