My journey began in July 2013 when I went to the Hill Health Center for my annual mammogram and was told after a biopsy was performed that I had Stage 1 DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma In Situ) breast cancer. I had a lumpectomy and then a second surgery within a two-week period because my margins weren’t clear. For six weeks I went to Smilow Hospital for daily radiation treatment. I didn’t tell many people about my cancer, only a few family members and a very few friends. I was
embarrassed and scared. My children had to work but a dear friend, Danette Chatfield, went every day with me to the hospital for my radiation treatment. Thank God for friends. I will never forget my last day of radiation treatment – it was New Year’s Eve, 2013.
I experienced symptoms of depression during my cancer treatment and was referred by the social worker at the hospital to a support group for cancer survivors. I attended the monthly meetings, which helped me feel better about my diagnosis and how I was managing my symptoms.
At a young age of 14 I had benign tumors in my breast and they were surgically removed. I have always followed up with my annual mammograms, especially since my family has had a history of cancer. I have a twin brother who has had colon cancer, two other brothers diagnosed with cancer, one brother dying from cancer and also my father had throat cancer. I come from a large family and I am the only female in the family who has had cancer. I have been on a maintenance drug and have not had any problems since my treatment.
I enjoy attending Sisters’ Journey monthly support meetings. I am thankful to God that I am a survivor.