Thirteen Years and Counting!

I found a lump in my left breast in January 2001; I was 41 years old. I immediately went to my doctor, who ordered a diagnostic mammogram. The lump was not picked up on the mammogram; I was told to repeat the exam in 6 months. During my second mammogram, the technician remarked that she could see and feel the lump--so could I! But the results of that mammogram showed no abnormalities. I went back to my doctor and said, "You know something is there, and I know something is there. I want a biopsy." My doctor sent me to a surgeon, who performed the biopsy on a Monday. By that Friday I was on the operating table undergoing a lumpectomy, having been diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. After 10 months of chemo and radiation and 5 years of Tamoxifen, I'm still cancer-free today. I continue to have yearly mammograms, but I also do monthly self-exams. I also see a dermatologist regularly to make sure that the radiated area of my chest and neck stays cancer-free. Yes, you can develop melanoma years after radiation! I'm positive that I wouldn't be alive today if I hadn't been proactive about my health, and I urge everyone to do the same!
Sandy McRoy
Murphysboro, IL