Cancer my friend the enemy, a personal quote taken from something reported that the Dalai Lama says about China’s insurgence in Tibet. When asked about his feelings about Chinese rule in Tibet, he replies, Ahh, my friend the enemy. This is what breast cancer has become for me, cancer my friend the enemy.
I was about to turn 36 and my son was 17 months old when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and scheduled for a mastectomy. She was 69. It woke me up to do a breast exam, and is that a lump I just found? I went to the doctor and he scheduled a biopsy but to me at my age it likely isn't cancer. To his surprise and mine, it was.
On June 20, 2013, I was told that I have breast cancer. Biopsies and MRIs started right away, it was like my life ended that first week. I am a mother of six and had no time to get sick, I had things to do and people to see.
Three and a half years ago my life changed. I felt a lump, went to the doctor and he sent me to have another mammogram. Then it was an ultrasound and a biopsy. A few days later I saw my doctor and got the word, cancer. I'm glad my husband was with me because after that I can't remember hearing much else. Then came the visits to the cancer doctor and heard my options. That is a very hard decision to make. I opted to have the lumpectomy. I was very fortunate to see all my doctors and have all treatments in one place, Aurora. They have a breast cancer coordinator that is with you during all the processes -- after-surgery, chemo, radiation, etc. She was wonderful. If she couldn't answer your question she would find someone who could. Sometimes you just need someone to hold your hand. She was such a caring person. It made me feel better.
I will never forget the day I found out I had breast cancer. The phone call came at 5:30 in the evening. I was getting ready for a choral concert and one of the directors was me. The news did not seem real. I was unable to tell anyone what I had learned. So, I went to the concert and out on stage. My family would not learn of the cancer until after the concert. My faith is what got me through that concert without tears. Three things brought me through this battle. They are faith, family and friends. I have learned countless lessons.
Jefferson County provides many volunteering programs to help people in need. Road to Recovery and FISH are both volunteer programs that help residents get transportation to and from their appointments.