I had skipped my last two mammograms. I didn’t mean to. Life was busy and breast cancer didn’t run in my family. Surely I wouldn’t get breast cancer. Besides, I already had a disease attached to me.
In January of 2017 my left breast felt different. There was not an obvious lump, but I had the sensation of letdown that you get when you are breast feeding. I did what any reasonable person would do and I googled my symptoms. I decided I probably needed to get checked out, but then rationalized it was probably a weird nerve thing related to MS. Crazy MS!
Then my daughter got engaged. That still, small nagging voice kept reminding me that I had skipped two mammograms. “Don’t blame everything on MS.” I reasoned with myself that I would go after the wedding. Deep down I knew something was wrong, but I wasn’t going to do anything to spoil that precious moment in time for my girl.
Laney got married in September. October came covered in pink ribbons. A local campaign called “Treasure Your Chest” was all over town. A co-worker bought a table at the luncheon for that campaign and brought all of the ladies a T-shirt back with that slogan. We all wore them on a Friday with jeans, while snapping photos and enjoying a casual Friday. I glanced down at the words across my chest. That inner voice said, “You are not treasuring your chest.” I made an appointment for a mammogram that day.
After the mammogram, I waited for my “all clear” letter. It didn’t come. I was sitting at my desk at work when the phone call came. I almost wanted to say, “I’ve been expecting your call.”
After a biopsy came the news. I had cancer. And the whirlwind began. On December 11, 2017, I was diagnosed with triple negative Ductal Carcinoma in Situ. Thankfully, it was non-invasive.
I had a lumpectomy in January, followed by 6 weeks of radiation. I rang the Bell of Hope on Good Friday and was able to proclaim “It is finished.”
I realize every day how very blessed I am. I learned a lot on this new journey we refer to as “Just a lump in the road.” One of the most wonderful things I have taken away from this cancer journey is that there are far more good people in the world than I realized.
“I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.” – Maya Angelou
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The opinions and experiences presented herein are for informational use only. Individual results may vary depending on your condition. Always consult with your health care professional. This individual has been compensated by Bard Medical for the time and effort in preparing this article for BARD’s further use and distribution. BMD/BMDA/0618/0676