Annette47's Story

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"My mother was diagnosed at age 75, in Sept of 2012 with Stage I IDC. Her diagnosis was the first of any in our family and spurred me to get a long overdue mammogram. I was 45 at the time, and had had them at 40 and 41 but then decided to wait (as was the recommendation at the time for women with no family history) until 50 for the next one. That mammogram, which was done less than a week after my mother’s diagnosis, showed that I too, had breast cancer, although I didn’t realized it for almost 6 weeks as the biopsy was delayed by Superstorm Sandy knocking out power to our breast center for 3 weeks.

"I didn’t tell my parents about what I was going through right away, as I wanted the focus to be on my mother while we helped her work through her treatment decisions (single mastectomy without reconstruction). She was just starting to recover from her surgery when I received my diagnosis. Telling her was the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but she handled it well and was a great source of support as I went through my treatment (lumpectomy plus radiation for a small DCIS with micro-invasion).

"In between the time my mother was diagnosed and I was, my daughter who was 12 at the time suffered a serious injury to her hand, requiring surgery and months of physical therapy to regain function. Fortunately we were ALL well on the road to recovery when she had her Bat Mitzvah the following spring, and the 'L’Chaim' toast at the reception (meaning 'to life') was one of the most meaningful of our lives."

-- Annette47, shared a diagnosis with her mother

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