My Story of Becoming a Breast Cancer Patient to Becoming a Breast Cancer Survivor
A little Story of my experience with breast cancer.
My Personal Journey With Breast Cancer.
I had just turned 50 years old on March 17th 2013. My birthday is on St. Patrick's Day. I had reached the age of 50. Here in Ontario, Canada when you reach the age of 50 you are automatically enrolled in the breast cancer screening program. I called and made an appointment and followed through and had my mammogram. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that I would receive a phone call from my physician informing me I needed to go back and have a second mammogram. The radiologist had read my mammogram and found something abnormal.
I had my second mammogram followed by an ultra sound, then they took biopsys. In the next few days to follow my biopsy results would be read and somebody would get back to me with my results. My results were read and I received a call from my physician informing me I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My physician informed me that I would need surgery along with treatment to follow. I was given an appointment to meet with the surgeon that would be performing my surgery. I met with the surgeon and we planned my surgery and my treatments to follow.
I had my surgery in June of 2013 followed by 6 weeks of radiation treatments in August and September of 2013. I experienced severe radiation burns to the area I received radiation. My burns were dressed daily for 4 weeks to follow. I still had the remaining 4 weeks of radiation treatments to finish. The radiation burns where very painful and I experienced excruciating amounts of pain. I am proud to say I attended each one of my radiation treatments and finished all 6 weeks of my treatments. I pushed myself through each one of those treatments as I would have rather just laid in bed and slept through it all.
I went from a breast cancer patient to a breast cancer survivor in a matter of four months. I had no idea how this next stage would be so emotional and life changing for me. I ended up with nerve damage and lymphodema in my right arm as it was my right breast that the breast cancer was diagnosed in. I have experienced chronic pain every day since June of 2013. I attend chronic pain management clinics and support groups. I went to physio therapy for 12 months three times a week. I practice pain management techniques to help manage my pain along with taking pain medication throughout my day. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety from dealing with chronic pain daily.
I worked full time before being diagnosed. I was a very independent woman as we live on a farm and my husband and sons farm together and are very busy with life on the farm. I began to feel very dependent on my family and that was also a reason depression and anxiety crept into my life. I attend an anxiety support group and it has helped me immensely. I wanted to be the independent woman I used to be before breast cancer crossed my path in my life. I have now excepted that I will never be the same woman I was before my experience with breast cancer.
I appreciate the little things in life and I don't take life for granted. I notice the beauty of the trees that surround me and the flowers that bloom in my gardens. I thank God every day for my husband, my children and my three beautiful grand children. They are my SAVING GRACE. I was given the precious gift of surviving and I love life in many different ways.
I am here today as an advocate for women to make a call today and book a mammogram. It may save your life like it saved my life.
I am living my journey of a breast cancer survivor and I can now add that to the chapters in my life experiences. It is coming up three years in June 2016 that I have been a breast cancer Surviver. It is so amazing how something so negative such as breast cancer has became something so positive. I am proud of myself for the journey I have fought and I can proudly say I WON my battle with breast cancer!
This is just a brief description of my life over the last three years wrapped up in a few paragraphs. I wanted to share with the world my experience with breast cancer and how I became a BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR.