It all started in May of 2019. There was an annual exam I put off for quite some time. I thought to myself, I need to make an appointment. I finally went in for my exam. All was well until my doctor checked my breasts. She found a lump. "Did you ever feel this lump before?" she asked me. "No. Should I be worried?" "No no. I will send you to another place to get it checked." I went on with my day, but I was a little worried. Did not think much of what she said. I told my mother about it, and she said no way, it cannot be anything serious.
I never made an appointment at that time. I did not have insurance or Medicaid. Luckily, a lady from a non-profit clinic called me to make an appointment. I said to her “I am sorry ma'am, but I do not have $500 to make an appointment for a mammogram.” I got my information wrong. The lady told me "it is free!" Well, in that case, I made the appointment.
Summertime was approaching, and my kids were getting out of school. I made plans to go visit my family in Virginia. I booked my tickets for three weeks. Beforehand, I made sure to get my mammogram.
Stepping into the doctor's office I did not see anybody my age. The nurse calls my name to get a mammogram, and I am in high spirits. "You wait outside, and the doctor will see if we need any more pictures from you." They called my name back. Now I am having an ultrasound done. The nurses are taking multiple pictures. They move the ultrasound stick inch by inch. The nurses call the doctor in. "I need you to come back to get a biopsy." I asked why?! I told the doctor I already booked tickets to see my family. The doctor nervously said to cancel my tickets, or to do a biopsy in Virginia. "Doctor, can you at least tell me if it is cancerous or not?!" "No, not until the biopsy." My heart sunk. It is a feeling I do not want to have. It was hard to breathe. The room was caving in. I walk over to another lady to make an appointment for the biopsy. "When would you like to make it? Is July 3 okay?" I choked up then started crying. I am in total shock. The poor lady tried to comfort me. I stuttered and said that date was fine. I walked into a dark parking lot, sat in my car, and called my husband right away. I told him what was wrong, and he tried to console me. He tells me it will be okay. Everything will be alright. What a sweetheart.
While I was visiting my family, my diagnosis was always on the back of my mind. My sister and mother did not think for a second it was breast cancer. After all, it does not run in our family. I would be on my phone looking for answers and support. My heart kept sinking...this seems like breast cancer. No no it can’t be, I thought. I went on with the next couple of weeks, enjoying my vacation. I came back to do a biopsy appointment. A week later, they called me in for my results. I went in by myself. Unfortunately, they confirmed it was indeed stage 2b breast cancer.
Then I spent about a month doing tests after tests. I was scheduled for 6 months of chemotherapy. One month A.C. chemo, then Taxol. A single mastectomy in March of 2020 was done, and had 33 rounds of radiation in June 2020. During my first round of chemo, I was not too nervous. I kept my head up, and my spirits high. First one done, three to go! It was pretty rough the first week. I was fatigued and barely ate.
Also, I felt sick to my stomach. My mother and husband were there to help with the house and kids. I will never forget all the support I got. I zoomed by my other rounds of chemo. Luckily, they were surprisingly easy. No effects, did not feel sick, I even had energy.
Throughout my breast cancer journey, I relied on God and kept a positive outlook. That was what helped me the most. How can I worry if my life is in God’s hands? Whatever He has planned for me it is for The Best. I thank God for everything. As of September 2020, I have been cancer free since March 2020.
I have hormone therapy left for five years. It’s okay. I will do it. I will make it and you will make it too.