In the summer of 2002 I received a letter telling me they needed to do further follow up on my mammogram I had just had the week before. I was 41 years old and dealing with a mother-in-law dying with pancreatic cancer. I had witnessed several close relatives dying with cancer but they were all on my husbands side. I went in for further evaluation and the radiologist said it was just a calcification and I should just watch it for six months. I told him I was a big worrier and I would rather have a biopsy. They did the biopsy the next day and he promised me I had nothing to worry about. He said he was 99.5% sure it was not cancer. Well guess what, I was in that .5%. The radiologist said this was the hardest thing he ever had to do because he promised me it was nothing.
I left the hospital with my husband and went immediately to my parents and called my friend who had went through breast cancer the year before. She took over from there. She called her surgeon, set up my appointment, and went with me on the 3 hour trip to see her. I was very fortunate to have caught it early and get by with a lumpectomy. However, the first surgery did not have clear margins so I had to go through surgery again. After surgery came 32 radiation treatments which were a piece of cake. I thank God everyday for my dear friend, family, and church who helped me through the rough times. Dealing with cancer for me was 95% mental and 5% physical.
I now am able to return the favor by helping a new friend I met deal with her diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. It is exactly one year ago this week that I was diagnosed. Yes you will be able to wake up and it not be the first thing on your mind. I am taking tamoxifin and get check ups every 6 months.