My name is Linnette Gayle and I was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2012. I was fifty-six years old. I went for my regular mammogram and a spot was detected on my left breast. It was stage 3, triple negative breast cancer. I was devastated but continued to have faith and stayed positive.
I always kept my appointments for my mammograms because cancer ran in my mother’s family. My mother had a mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer. The process was very difficult for her and I stood by her through the entire process. She was a 40-year survivor, passing away in 2009 of a non-related disease.
Let me start by saying that if I had been doing my regular mammograms as the health care professionals suggested, I would have caught the cancer in time and it wouldn’t have gotten to stage 2. It was while I was doing a self-breast exam that I felt a “LUMP”; but I shrugged it off and thought no more about it until I had pain in that particular area a few months later.
In 2001 I noticed some leakage from my breast. I immediately called my doctor who ordered a mammogram that was abnormal. I then had a biopsy. Once the results were in, I was told that I had breast cancer. In a follow-up consultation visit, I learned that my cancer was very treatable. The treatment consisted of a procedure called a lumpectomy (removal of the tumor and surrounding tissue) followed by eight weeks of chemotherapy.
My journey of breast cancer began in April 2012. I was on vacation with my husband, daughter and grandson when I began feeling a consistent pain in my left breast. I had had a mammogram four months prior that had been normal. Instead of waiting, I decided to call my GYN while on
vacation and tell him about the pain and to schedule an appointment. Because I had dense breasts, I was able to get an ultrasound scheduled, which I had upon my return.
I give thanks to God for my life and for this wonderful opportunity to share my story. My name is Maggie Gardner. I grew up on the Island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean. I came to the U.S. in 1989 and began a career in the health care field. Today, I am the Executive Director of Gardner’s House.
I don’t think about what happened; my scars are my only reminder. I AM A SURVIVOR!!!
At this time I have been cancer free for almost four and a half years. Throughout my journey, I prayed and kept the spirit of God in my life, as I have always to this day.