I had found a lump in my left breast in October 2012 and had it seen by my regular physician the following month in November. The lump was squishy and movable, and being that I had found a similar one several years ago that ended up being a benign cyst, I wasn’t worried about it. My physician also thought it wasn’t anything to be concerned about, but ordered an ultrasound an mammogram just in case.
On the Friday before Christmas, December 21 2012, I went in to get my ultrasound and first mammogram by myself, thinking I had nothing to worry about. I was definitely not prepared for what the radiologist said: ” I’m concerned about a few areas of your breast, especially at your age of 32. There’s the initial lump, plus another that doesn’t look right, and a few lymph notdes that look fattier than normal. I’d like to take some biopsies today before you leave. Is there anyone you’d like to call?”
It took me a while to process, and then the crying began.
Due to the holidays, I had to wait a couple days longer than usual to hear the results. Not knowing was the worst. I kept looking at my then 18 month old daughter and thinking what could happen if I wasn’t here, causing myself to have momentary crying sessions.
Christmas was pleasant as it could be, though emotionally hard. The day after Christmas, the radiologist called me a minute after 8am. I knew by his first word that it was bad news.
I HAVE BREAST CANCER.
I still repeat that to myself, because many times I think, ” I can’t have CANCER. Why do I have CANCER?!!!! Can’t this just be a nightmare?!”
It took me about 5 days to really process and accept that I have cancer. Every day I cry a little bit, and then I can go about doing what I need to do.
I have Stage 3 Ductal Carcinoma with all 3 possible receptors, which is better than having none.
My husband and I successfully froze embryos just in case treatment causes me to have early menopause or become sterile.
I will undergo 5 months of chemo, surgery, followed by 2 months of radiology & 5 years of taking Tamoxifen pills.
Both my father and father-in-law have battled and overcome cancers, in addition to my aunt, uncle and great-aunt. Hearing what they have said in response to my unfortunate results has been helpful and inspirational. I’ve been told that I have to believe I will beat this; I have to stay positive.
And so, that is what I will do. I need to beat this and I WILL BE OKAY.
Submitted by Shena Luna Photography