We never had any history of breast cancer until my younger sister was diagnosed 8/02 with DCIS.
She had 2 lumpectomies followed by radiation. I was due for my routine mammogram and had is scheduled in Feb. 04, I changed it because I was sick and felt that I wouldn’t be able to stand still without coughing during it. I was rescheduled for 5/18/04.
I was 51 at the time. I will admit that I did not do monthly exams. They took several films and re-dos but I still wasn’t concerned. Then the radiologist came in with the technician and just said “You have cancer, I have to prepare you for the worst”. He put the slides up for me to see but honestly the only thing I kept hearing over and over again was his first sentence. Things moved quickly after that. My obgyn gave me a surgeon and they took me in less than a week.
The thing is that without the mammogram this would have gone undetected for who knows how long. You couldn’t feel it. It was stage 1 grade 1.
I had a needle biopsy done that confirmed the cancer. The surgery was on 6/1/04, a lumpectomy and auxiliary lymph node dissection. Fourteen nodes removed and all negative.
Great news, no chemo needed.
The lymph node dissection was the hardest part for me. I guess when they tell you what they are going to do you hear it but you don’t always ask questions about the recuperation period etc. I’m still not 100% in my right arm but I will get there.
Radiation wasn’t too bad really. When I think about what other people go through I just feel like I can’t complain.
I feel lucky they found it early and I was treated so quickly. I still don’t really do the monthly exam though. I see so many Drs. on a regular basis now that I figure they will find it. I’m having another mammogram on 6/7/05 and I’m scared to death that that Dr. will come in again. My mother is going to go with me this time I had great support from my husband who really pampered me and took care of me. My family is great and I appreciate what everyone did to help me.