Dorothy (Dotti) McCleese

Dorothy (Dotti) McCleese Image

“I am a survivor… I have cried my last tear yesterday”

My name is Dorothy (Dotti) McCleese. I am a native of New Haven, Connecticut.

One evening, I was giving myself a breast examination and discovered a small lump on the right upper part of my breast. The following morning I repeated the exam (like it was going away) and sure enough it was still there. Four days I repeated the same process, until I finally decided I must make the phone to my primary care physician before my nerves were completely gone.

In a week I was scheduled for a mammogram, shortly thereafter I was scheduled for a needle biopsy on March 4, 2004. The results showed that I did have breast cancer.

On April 12, 2004 I had a mastectomy of the right breast. My surgeon scheduled me for the regular return visits, and informed me that everything was going quite well (or so I thought).

On returning to my primary care physician for my yearly exam, I was asked how everything was going with my Oncologist. Another shock, I was never informed to have or make an appointment with the oncologist, which was quite upsetting to both me and my primary care physician. Never the less I was “Blessed” and told to make an appointment with Dr. Silber at the Father McGivney Cancer Center immediately.

After careful examination she informed me that she would have offered me chemotherapy had she seen me at the time of being diagnosis. Dr. Silber started me on 5-6 years of hormonal therapy, which by the ‘Grace of God” as I’m writing all is well, under the watchful care of Dr. Andrea Silber.

The struggle still continues, but it’s not heavy “God is on my side” and with the support of my special friend being there through all of this, doctors visits, results, tests, surgery and etc, I say thank you. I know it wasn’t easy, and to my Sister’s:”

The Lord gives us time for our stories to be told

For our journeys to be made

For our purpose to unfold

The Lord gives us time to grow stronger in his grace

To become who we are born to be

To find our unique place in his creation

“I am a Survivor…I have cried my last tear yesterday!”