Five years ago I was a happy-go-lucky 47-year-old stay-home-mom. But on one fateful day in June 2006 I was given news that completely changed my world as I knew it. I had breast cancer. I was always diligent about having my yearly exams including mammography and it was this exam that, I can honestly say, attributed to my positive outcome.
Initially, the cancer was suspected as a result of my routine mammogram. After a suspicious spot was detected, I went back for a more focused mammogram of the area of concern. This confirmed there was something that needed to be further investigated and a biopsy was performed. The diagnosis was given: right breast cancer. What followed was about three weeks of harrowing tests and surgery to determine how far the cancer spread. The first “good” news I got was after the lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy; it had not spread beyond the breast, so I had stage 1 cancer. Unfortunately, the margins of the tumor removed were not clear which meant I would have to have a mastectomy and because of the size of the tumor, I would need chemotherapy treatment. After difficult deliberation, I decided to have a double mastectomy because my type of cancer, lobular, was notorious for being bilateral and I wanted symmetry.
All in all, I had about ten months of treatment through breast reconstruction. I started running and working out again six weeks after the last surgery and today I am healthier and more fit than I was before diagnosis. This fact is a direct result of early diagnosis which was because of my routine mammogram. Your best chances of survival come with early detection and diagnosis!