I have worked as a nurse at the Hospital of Saint Raphael for 30 years. I work in the Nursing Staff Development department and I teach Critical Care Nursing. I am the recipient of numerous awards including the prestigious Mary E. Mahoney Award from The Southern Connecticut Black Nurses Association for “Outstanding Service and Dedication to Nursing” and the 1995 Outstanding CPR Instructor Award from the American Heart Association (Connecticut Affiliate).
This picture was taken on my birthday, September 27, 2001. I am happy to say that I am a Breast Cancer survivor. My mother was a breast cancer survivor, too. Because of my family history, I had mammograms every year. Whenever I had a mammogram, I was told “everything is fine. You can leave.” But July 1998 was different. This time, the radiologist did not like how the tumor looked. You need a biopsy. I convinced myself that it could not be cancerous. I told myself that everything would be as it had been in the past, “fine.”
Thoroughly convinced, I took my Goddaughters on a vacation that had been planned for a year. We went to Disney World. I did not want to disappoint them and since the tumor was small, I thought that the biopsy could wait until I returned. Upon my return, I scheduled my biopsy. The results: Cancer of the left breast. I was shocked!
In September 1998, I had a Modified Radical Mastectomy, followed by chemotherapy. I am presently taking Tamoxifin. I am honored to be included in this calendar and I would like to dedicate my portion of the calendar to my sister, Joyce Wright. Joyce was my primary caregiver during my recovery and during my chemotherapy. She was my rock, my encourager and the source of my being able to laugh during this period of my life. Joyce, diagnosed with Breast Cancer one year after my diagnosis, did not survive.