On October 27th, 2021, one day after my husband’s birthday, I was diagnosed with multi focal Breast Cancer (Estrogen+, Progesterone+, HER2-). On December 16th, 2021, my daughter’s birthday, I was blessed to be declared cured after a successful bilateral mastectomy and clear lymph nodes. While the calendar says it was just seven weeks, it felt much longer and it was quite the roller coaster ride which would continue for the next year through the reconstruction process.
In my work I make complex difficult decisions all day every day. I might be bold enough to even say “decisiveness” is one of my super powers. But when it came to making the decision on how best to treat my breast cancer, I struggled big time. After all, it was a life-altering permanent decision. It was hard to know which choice would put me on the path with the least suffering, the fastest healing, and the greatest long-term peace of mind.
Through my journey I learned the importance of faith. Faith allowed me confidence and comfort to take the next step forward even if I did not fully know the entire path that would ultimately follow.
God would guide and order my steps in those seven weeks and throughout my year of recovery.
Physicians, family, friends….all were placed along the journey. This included my mother, sister, and close friends who shared their own breast cancer battles and experiences.
Drs. Martin Aviles and John Hogg who recognized my risk due to my family history and set me on an early screening plan with mammograms and genetic testing. Dr. Ben Hogg along with the entire NRMC radiology team treated me like a VIP, knew my high-risk, and were super vigilant to find my cancer early. Dr. Bill Ball’s surgical guidance making sure extra consideration was taken to ensure ended up on the best treatment plan. And numerous other medical care providers, family, friends, and colleagues all who were amazing pillars of support. Last but certainly not least, my husband, Steve, dutifully boarded the roller coaster, belted himself in tight, and rode alongside me for every loopty loo, twist, and turn.
My story is pretty textbook. My care team recognized my risk factors, provided the best screenings, caught my cancer early, and ensured everything was considered to get me on the right treatment plan.
While the medical case is textbook, am thankful and blessed beyond measure to share my story and celebrate the positive outcome.