Toni Alexis Walker
On August 13, 2012, I received a call from my OB/GYN, Dr. Mussenden. She stated that when she entered her office that morning her computer was on (which was strange because she wasn’t
in the office the previous day) and my file was open. Highlighted in yellow was a mammogram. Dr. Mussenden asked me if I went for my mammogram that was scheduled back in January of 2012.
I answered, “No” because I’ve been busy. Dr. Mussenden said, “Well you’re going today at 1 p.m. at Washington Radiology.” I sucked my teeth because Mondays are always busy at my job
and I really didn’t have time to go to a doctor’s appointment.
I went to my 1p.m. appointment and my life has not been the same since. When they did the mammogram it was extra painful, but I was told that’s normal. Afterwards I put my clothes on to leave. (I was in a rush to get back to work.) The nurse stopped me at the door and told me to wait. She stated that the doctor needed to do a 3D mammogram because she sees something. I really didn’t think it was anything because the previous year the same thing happened and they said it was dense tissue.
The 3D mammogram was done and the doctor still wasn’t satisfied. So she ordered an ultrasound. After the ultrasound the doctor spoke with me to let me know she was scheduling a
biopsy for the next day, August 14, 2012. Now I’m getting upset because I had meetings on the 14th at work.
The doctor then told me that she thinks I have breast cancer. At that moment I just froze and said, “Stop lying!” She repeated herself.
August 13, 2012 was my last day of work. I didn’t return until March 10, 2014. On August 17, 2012, I was officially diagnosed with breast cancer. I was devastated. I cried so much. All I kept
thinking was I want to see my children grow up, graduate from college, and have families of their own. I want to LIVE. I kept asking, “Why me?” I kept wondering, if I die, who would take care
of my Autistic daughter who was then nine years old. I was angry, very angry at one point. I didn’t want to pray or go to church.
On August 20, 2012, I met with my cancer team from Johns Hopkins (surgeon, oncologist, plastic surgeon and radiologist). I would need to have a double mastectomy, chemotherapy
and radiation. At the time I met with my team they told me I would have my breasts removed and tissue expanders put in to prepare me for implants a year later. They also told me I would
only have to go through four chemo treatments and four weeks of radiation.
On September 21, 2012, I had my double mastectomy surgery, which took 11 1/2 hrs. I remember waking up but not being able to open my eyes. I could hear Dr. Pam Wright telling my mother that when she opened me up she saw that the cancer was spreading; it had hit seven of my lymph nodes so she ended up taking 13 of them from my right arm. Dr. Wright also told my mother that I was in the beginning stage of 4 IDC Breast Cancer (invasive ductal carcinoma). So this now changed the game with chemotherapy and radiation.
On October 5, 2012, I had surgery to put my port in for chemotherapy, which I started on October 15, 2012. I went twice a week for five months. March 18, 2013 was my last chemo session. Chemo was rough. I quit three different times because I just wanted the sickness to stop.
I started radiation on April 15, 2013. I think radiation was worse than the chemotherapy. The burning of my skin was tormenting. I finished radiation on June 3, 2013. During radiation I still
didn’t feeling well. Besides the tissue expanders hurting like hell, I was seeing blood in my urine.
I went back to my oncologist on June 24, 2013. She sent me for a PET scan and discovered that I had cancer on my uterus. On July 3, 2013, I had both a hysterectomy and an appendectomy.
I went for tests on July 22, 2013, and a follow up visit on July 26, 2013, and was told that I was CANCER FREE!
I now take Letrozole everyday for the next five years. My one-year anniversary of receiving my “twins” Coco & Chanel (my new breasts) was April 15, 2015.
Going through this has definitely increased my Faith. God is a Healer!! God promised to never leave me nor forsake me. I told God that I wanted to Live and I was going to fight and beat cancer.
God had and continues to have my back.
I am so grateful!!