Five months after retiring and starting a new life in another city and having had a mammogram prior to retiring I was diagnosed with Stage2 agressive Breast Cancer.
I complained to my primary physican about a pain in my left breast and she suggested since I was having my physical to go on and have my mammogram. I did and about a month later (note: a month later) I received a letter that all was normal and "See you next Year". After I moved away from NC to SC I still had the pain of and on. I went to one doctor and he said that I should double up on my hormones. I later went to another doctor and he see me right away have another mammogram. After this mammogram this doctor suggested that I have a Ultra Sound. It was at that moment that my life changed, COMPLETELY.
The doctor who read my films and ordered my old films from NC did not understand why the NC doctors did not advise me to have an ultra sound. All my records suuported the fact that I had complained about the pain in my breast (left one). But, no one listened to me. And, I did not press having a ultra sound becuse I just didn't know any better. If I only knew what I know now. Before I knew it I was placed in the hands of a nurse navigator at for me one of the best if not the best hospital in the world. Roper Hospital in Charleston SC. My nurse navigator took me by the hand and guided me through what was going to be the most challenging life changing situation that I may ever deal with. I won't go into every detail but my nurse navigator helped my chose a surgeon and later wit the assistance of the surgeon both helped me decide upon a Oncologist as well as a Radiologist. My team of doctors and nurse navigator and all the assistants, technicians were wonderful. I would not have made it if it were not for them.
I had to have sentinel node surgery and learned that out of the 13 nodes removed , one of the nodes was found cancerous. From there I went on to have a lumpectomy and well, next came the port and from there Chemo. I had six month's of chemo and 33 continous days of radiation. God, is good and blessed me without being nauseous through th entire chemo treatment. But, I loss all my hair, my ankles swelled and I loss my sense of taste as well as my finger and toe nails all turned black. After my third treatment I felt like every bone in my body was falling apart. Actually the third treatment was my worst one. I wont' go on any further about chemo, personally I would wish it on my worst enemy. Radiation wasn't to bad. The worst part was being marked up each time when the techs had to make adjustments. The radiation itself only took about ten minutes the most.
February 2010 I received my last radiation treatment . I continue to suffer with neuropathy in both my finger tips and feet however, its going to be all right. I feel good but now I'm somewhat worried about my last CT scan I took February 2011. I felt a funny weird pain on my right side not the breast area but between my breast and back. The CT scan showed a unidentifiable spot on my lower right side of my lung. We don't know what it is and my oncologist here in NC prefers for me to wait nine month's before I have another CT scan. That's a no,no. I'm currently searching for another oncologist to get a second opinion. With my history why would I wait.
Oh, yes I forgot to mention the radiologist who first read my mammogram in NC has since left the center. And, I went to visit the center when I moved back to NC, they apologized and sent me a letter stating they would use my case as a study for future training as to help students understand that they should listen more closely to patients.
Yes, the last two years have been different and frightening. But, having dealt with this disease has made me really learn how important and delicate life is. It has brought me closer to God the Almighty, because I could not have made it without him. I made many new friends during chemo and my radiation treatments. It's is really frightening to see so many people suffering. Cancer does not discriminate. I have seen young, old, male and females going through terrible, horrible treatments. I am extremely blessed and through Gods graces I will get through whatever happens next.
Thanks so very much for reading my story!
May All of you Be Blessed!
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