Not Always a Lump

Hi! I was 35 when I had my first mammogram. My gynecologist said I had dense breasts. Calcifications were found but not in an alarming way. At 37, I had DCIS and Intraductal. There was no lump. No tumor. Not enough people know that part - that is why the mammogram and ultrasound are so important! No family history. BRACA1 was negative. Estrogen negative. Herceptin+++. 5 out of 16 nodes were positive. I had a mastectomy and reconstruction. Chemo with CEF combination. Radiation. Lymphedema followed. So did 4 years of wonderful physical therapy! That was the payoff! Thank you Melissa Donaghy! Had my ovaries removed and no more PMS - another payoff! Herceptin treatment was given 2 1/2 years after original treatment. I worry for my niece and my daughter. Both are 14. Now there is family history. I have hope because of all the research and develpoment. Maybe I won't need to worry at all in the next few years!! Birthdays were a negative for me. Now, I relish everyone! Had it not been for the best gynecologist, I would not be here. If 40 was my first mammogram, 41 would have been a gamble. My doctors thought my gynecologist had wonderful forethought. Me too - thank you Dr. Carolan!! I wish I had a more profound way of giving thanks. It has been 6 years and I will always have my fingers crossed! Life is great!
Julie Reichner Oliva
N. White Plains, NY