My story began on August 2, 2012. Well, this story began on that day. I had my first ever mammogram and the radiologist had concerns and had me do the mammogram again on the same day. She spoke of micro-calcium calcifications and she attempted to comfort me but at that time it was too late. I knew what she was saying was you have cancer.
Now I'm 37 and I was so naive to believe that I didn't need a mammogram but went anyway because my OB/GYN had been pushing me since I had my son who turned 2 in September. My doctor never felt anything and I never felt anything but he wanted me to have a baseline mammogram, so I went. I am so glad I did, if I would have waited until 40 I feel and know in my heart it would have been worst.
I went in for the biopsy on 8/9, went to a wedding on 8/11 and did not tell a soul about what was happening even though I was very scared. On 8/13 my husband went with me to see my doctor, like I mentioned before I already knew I had breast cancer but my husband was hopeful. When my doctor confirmed it, my husband just grabbed my hand and didn't let go. I sat in shock, not one tear, not one word, just taking in what he was saying. Now there is NO history of breast cancer in my family, my mom is one of 5 and dad is one of 10, so I have MANY people in my family. I am the first person to have breast cancer. And although it was me, I prefer me and not anyone else, not my mom or my sister. My mom has been my life raft forever. I know that I can fight this cancer.
By the way I was told I had DCIS, Ductal carcinoma in situ. Which was and is positive, it has not become invasive...but there is more further down.
So we, my husband and I began to go to doctor appointments, second opinions, sat in waiting rooms with patients and survivors and all I wanted to do was cry. How are they doing it? that's all I thought and I tried VERY hard to keep it together.
We were given different options as they had found DCIS only in one breast. I was told about tamoxifen, possible radiation, one mastectomy or a bilateral mastectomy. I chose a bilateral mastectomy for a couple of reasons. First I don't want to continue to look over my should and live with fear that I will again be diagnosed with breast cancer on my left side, second I do not want to take tamoxifen for 5 years. I'm 37, that means I would have to take it until I was 42. I would have to wait to get pregnant for 5 years possibly more and well I, we want to have another baby soon, eventually.
The week before my surgery I played NONE STOP with my son, I picked him up more often, wrestled with him more, tossed around more, everything was more because I knew that it will be a long time before I can pick him up and swing him around.
Prior to the surgery I felt brave, scared but ok with this cancer. I got angry, really angry once. I sat in my car and yell at the top of my lungs, please excuse my language I do not want to offend anyone that reads my story. Well I yelled "YOU WILL NOT BEAT ME CANCER, FU CANCER, I WILL KISS YOUR ASS AND I WILL WIN."
After I kept seeing co-workers and a few friends and they asked me if I was looking forward to the first day of school, I'm a school social worker. And I had to tell them that I couldn't start with everyone and told them why. I have breast cancer, I told them it was ok, I'm ok, it's surgery and then the cancer will be gone, and I would smile.
I had surgery on 9/4, I was scared but I was going through it. No turning back now. Mind you there had been a few bumps the week before because the hospital where I went for my second opinion was having a hard time letting go of MY slides and films. I realized that although I have always advocated for others as a social worker, I needed help here. i advocated as much as i could and then had my husband take over. I began to break down in the middle of the night that last week, I told my husband "I am ready for this surgery, I cannot wait another week, I don't know what I would do. The surgery MUST happen on 9/4." I think I was afraid that I would change my mind, or that the cancer would would win this time around and begin to spread.
Like I mentioned before, I was diagnosed with DCIS which is technically stage 0 and some doctors don't even consider cancer which they are wrong. IT IS CANCER, whether it has spread or not, it is cancer.
Anyway, I was upgraded to stage 1 during my surgery because the cancer had become invasive. I haven't told my parents but my husband knows it. I was also told that the cancer has come VERY close to my skin tissue which means that during my second surgery in a few months the doctor will take another piece off from my breast tissue, the outside basically.
During my first surgery my plastic surgeon actually began the reconstruction phase, she put the implants in and did not go with the extenders (I think that's what they are called.) During my second surgery, I will have liposuction done and she will inject the fat taken from my tummy to my breast (I actually love that idea.)
That's all the outside stuff but now after the surgery I am definitely weaker, yes physically and I'm recovering but emotionally I am weaker. I have days where I feel very emotionally strong and others when I am a mess and I fight to keep it together. A lot of times I cry and laugh on the same day.
I am not in the clear yet, I have to meet with an oncologist in a few weeks to find out if I need radiation. My doctor at this time doesn't think so but she wants to be thorough and is making sure I see other doctors. I hope I don't need radiation because if I do then my husband and I will have to figure out how to conserve my fertility. Something else to worry about but hoping that I don't need it.
Feelings..... full of them. I also feel guilty that there are others who have it worst than I do. They are at a further stage, their treatment is more intense, and although I know we are all different and cancer is cancer I still feel guilt.
I am very thankful for my husband, my son, my parents and sister, my family, and friends. Everyone has been supportive. Sometimes to be honest, I loose impatience but I know its me, its the cancer, its not my loved ones but I keep it to myself. I don't want to hurt them.
I am also thankful for all those on this site, you have encouraging stories, strength, wisdom and kindness and I am so glad I found this site. Thank you.
And by the way, I love my doctors, Dr. Hodyl and Dr. Ott Young have been amazing. They have been very thorough and supportive. I could not have asked for better doctors.
My goal after all this stuff, is to live better, explore more, have more fun, enjoy every single second of my happy life with my loved ones.... and get pregnant. We want to see our family grow and my little guy needs another baby to play with.
I wish you all good luck and all your decisions, treatment plans, your future FUN plans.
Yashmira, this is my short story and cancer will not win. Not now not ever.
“Breast cancer affects one out of every eight women in their lifetime.”spread the word