My Cancer Story

I was diagnosed with stage IIIC breast cancer at the age of 39. I'll never forget that January morning, or the terror that I felt in the pit of my stomach after getting a call from the surgeons office. My journey to diagnosis had started a few weeks before Christmas, a time of year that I normally adore. In all honesty, I knew that something wasn't right, and I had weeks to prepare myself to hear the words, "You have cancer."

Sitting in the office of Dr. Kami Kemp on the 3rd of January,  2014 I didn't hear those words for the first time. The first time I had been hit by that bullet was back in December. I had gone for what I knew was more than just a routine mammogram. After multiple trips to the x-ray room and a follow up sonogram, the knot in my stomach was almost unbearable.

I dressed quickly, and I'm pretty sure that I threw my socks in my purse because the radiologist was waiting to speak to me. I didn't think I could wait another minute to hear what she had to say. Now in retrospect, nothing could have prepared me to enter a dark room occupied by a woman who looked more like a Friday  night babysitter than the woman who was about to deliver the worst news of my life. Maybe if she had been a little older, or had just a dab of bedside manner, she would have waited until I was firmly planted in a chair, and not squatting in midair. But, she wasn't and she had no bedside manner and so she blurted out, "You have cancer". And in that moment, I finished landing in the chair.

A few days later, still reeling from the shock, I met with the breast surgeon for the first time accompanied by one of my dearest friends.  Neither her take charge manner or her words did little to comfort me. She was unwilling to diagnosis me with cancer until she had a biopsy which was promptly scheduled for the week after Christmas.

The biopsy that would reveal not only breast cancer in my left breast, but the type of cancer and the spread of the disease to my lymph nodes was not a pleasant experience. Now, I think it was probably one of the least traumatic things that I endured.

This blog was my outlet during treatment. It was an honest attempt at being as honest and forthcoming about my journey through chemo, surgery, radiation and eventually reconstruction.

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