I have had breast cancer twice. First in 2000, and the second was diagnosed in October 2011.
In 2000 my cancer was Stage 1B. I elected to have a mastectomy and radiation, going the aggressive way to avoid a recurrence. My life proceeded along for 11 cancer-free years. I even had a big party to mark my 10-year anniversary.
The second one is not a recurrence but a new, more aggressive cancer -- Stage 2A. Both times I have found the cancer by self-examination. When I went to see the doctor in October 2011 everything got very serious very quickly. The doctor and chief radiologist at a large, prestigious teaching hospital were both absolutely convinced I had at least 4 positive nodes. However, during surgery, the nodes were negative. I'm told my surgeon broke scrub (left the OR) 3 times to go to pathology to make sure their diagnosis of the nodes was correct.
I finished chemo on March 15. Six treatments every three weeks. It wasn't a pleasant experience, but there are NO signs of any remaining cancer anywhere in my body! To those who have breast cancer or are going through treatment, please know that there IS life after cancer. I'm looking forward to many happy years.
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