In 2019, there will be over 260,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed in women in the United States. 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer over her lifetime and it has become the most common cancer in American women except for skin cancer. There are now over 3.5 million breast cancer surviors in the United States but the war still rages on because every 2 MINUTES a woman is diagnosed.
Blessed Bag is honoring survivors by hearing and telling their stories on the fight they waged to win the war. These are true warriors and inspirations of hope on which Breast Cancer Awareness is about!
- Diagnosed in October 2016
- Stage 2 at 68 years young, no family history of breast cancer
- Type of Breast Cancer: Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
- 2 years in remission
How did you find your breast cancer?
I had a mammogram in May of 2016 that came back clear but then I had changes in my breast that I thought was due to my age. I was having pain and the colored part of my breast turned greyish so I told my gynecologist immediately. I was ordered to have a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound which led to a breast MRI and biopsy.
How did you feel when you first received this news?
I’m a spiritial person and had complete peace when they told me of my diagnosis. I truly felt that God was leading me on this journey and I had something to learn.
Tell us about your treatment process:
On October 31, 2016 I began chemotherapy and had 4 treatments of adriamycin and cytoxan three weeks apart. I lost my hair about 20 days into treatment. I was blessed that the steroids and anti-nausea meds worked for me. I handled chemo well overall and the side effects were minimal and tolerable. After 12 weeks, I was put into another 12 weeks of Taxol. Chemo was completed in April of 2017 with a bilateral mastectomy in May followed by 25 rounds of radiation.
What tools did you utilize to overcome obstacles and hardships during your cancer journey?
I have to say that prayer and faith were my greatest tools. I had more support from family, church, friends and neighbors than anyone could ask for.
What inspirational message would you like to share to others beginning the breast cancer journey?
I know this type of news is devastating but I believe in trusting your doctors and following their plan of treatment. Although you must speak your voice when you think things aren’t right. Read, learn, ask questions and trust in God. It’s all in his hands anyway. There are so many new treatments today that give cancer patients a future and hope!
What advice would you give to others on Breast Cancer Awareness?
Please get your mammograms and watch for changes in your breast. Don’t pass anything off as “nothing”. Let your doctor decide!
How did your Blessed Bag help you on your journey?
My niece, Rachel Main, presented me with a Blessed Bag a week before my treatment began. The night before my treatment, I packed it up like a school girl before her first day of school. I LOVED my bag! It had so many little compartments for all my little necessities and was full of other things I didn’t even know that I would need. It was truly a blessing and a very special gift!
If you had a warrior name what would it be?
Child of the King