My name is Margaret Taylor. I live in Newington, Connecticut. I am a wife, mother and grandmother of two sweet little girls.
Approximately 10 years ago, I was a model, dancer, workout fanatic and in the best shape of my life. During self-examination I found a hard ball underneath my left breast. I went to my primary care physician for an examination and they referred me to a surgeon for a biopsy. When the test results came back positive, I was totally beside myself. My mother and one of my sisters were also breast cancer survivors but I never thought that it would happen to me.
I immediately had surgery where in addition to removing the lump, the main lymph node was also removed as a precaution to prevent further spreading.
After surgery my surgeon referred me to an oncologist, Dr. Robert Siegel, whom I still see today on a yearly basis. Dr Siegel suggested to my husband and I that both chemotherapy and radiation treatments would provide the best chance of becoming cancer free. After much thought, tears and fear, I decided to do both. I managed to complete chemo but not without physical changes to my body. I didn’t lose my hair but I did gain more than 50 lbs. during treatments.
I still have physical reminders of this ordeal in the form of lumps on my legs, increased sensitivity to heat and cold, and increased susceptibility to contagious illness – BUT I AM ALIVE!
When I started my treatments I was told by another cancer survivor to think of it like going on a trip where you would not be returning for 18 months. Having gone through this I understand why this was said because it took me that amount of time and more to feel like my self again. I know that I will never be the person I was, but I accept the person I am today.
I now have been a breast cancer survivor for 10 years and pray to remain cancer free. It was a journey that I never thought I would have to take or wish on any one else. That being said, I feel so blessed to still be with my loving and very supported husband and to see my grandchildren grow up.