"My breast cancer journey began on a Monday, the day after my 48th birthday in April 2002, a whirlwind day. Mammogram showed 'something,' ultrasound confirmed. Set up a needle biopsy only an hour later. Got a call Friday evening it's cancer, surgery was set up for the next Friday!! I opted for a mastectomy with sentinel node biopsy. IDC, 1 cm, stage I, grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-. So I start tamoxifen, that didn't agree with me at all!! Oncologist said it shouldn't make that big a difference with my cancer. So I gladly stopped it. My insurance recommended I call their counselor, I did, then wondered why. Then I found this site. WOW what a wonderful group of people. And tons of information!!! I spent a lot of time searching different sites but always came back to this one.
"Fast forward to 2006, I find a lump on the mastectomy site. It's the size of a half dollar. I knew right away it's back. The surgeon looked at it, didn't bother with a biopsy just set up a date for surgery. Yep, again she confirmed cancer. This time I would need the 'full deal' BUT first she needed clean margins!! I got a dense dose of chemo. Then radiation. During that time I spent a lot of time on here looking for what was going to happen, what I could expect. I got to know a lot of the ladies, some still fighting, some who lost the fight.
"Our then 11-year-old granddaughter (who we raised since age 3) wrote these for me:
Mother who has it
Sister who saw it
Daughter who got it
and every one who fought it
Man who cried
Brave soul who died
Women who lost their hair
and endured that stare
the chemo brain
Over the years I've found
there is no way you could
ever take this woman down!!
"And a second poem:
Three Little Words
There are three little words
that can wreck someone's entire life
three little words
that can make you lose all hope in life
three little words
that can turn the strongest person
in the universe into that of an infant
But not you
you have been through so much in your life
and you still have hope and stand strong
The worst three little words
a doctor can say, you've heard twice
Those three little words
you tried not to let me see your pain
but I saw it
and never once thought you were weak
you heard those three little words
and you are still as strong as ever
You never let it stop you from being
the best Grandma you could be
And I never stopped thinking of you as
Twice the Doctors said
YOU HAVE CANCER
and twice you said
CANCER DOESN'T HAVE ME
"Fast forward to October 2013, mammogram finds a small spot, needle biopsy confirms in situ. Doctor suggests just keeping an eye on it. But with changes in healthcare (I lost mine on 1-1-14) and my history I again opt for a mastectomy. Thankfully this time clean nodes and no chemo or radiation.
"It's been a long journey and is no way even close to being over. I truly enjoy my time at the Discussion Boards, I have become close friends with many and enjoy the opportunity to have lunch with some members :)
"Tough times don't last, TOUGH PEOPLE DO!!
"Thanks for letting me share."
-- tdbear (Karin), Salem, OR, USA