Wendy F. Holloway Mabins
It was September the 21st, 1999. I was at a family reunion in South Carolina when I discovered that my mole had swollen on my face. My mother was concerned and told me that I should get that checked out. So, when I returned home to Connecticut, I went to the doctor’s office. He told me it was a cyst. He drained it and I returned home, happy.
While lying in bed one night, I just happened to run my hand across my chest and I discovered a lump on my right breast. I called the clinic. They told me to wait until the surgical clinic opened on Wednesday. During the appointment, I noticed that they kept sending different people in to examine me. Then, I was told I had to have an ultrasound. I was told I could not leave until the doctor looked at the pictures. He told me its was a CPI and I would have to come back next week to have it drained. Several days later, however, a specialist called me and told me I should come to his office to have a needle biopsy. I went home, after that, and tried not to worry. That following Monday, the specialist called and told me I had cancer. I was shocked and questioned why they told me I had a cyst. I decided to get a second opinion, but received the same diagnosis.
On October 3rd, I had a mastectomy. It was a very emotional surgery. To wake up and find that you have lost a part of your body, a sacred part of a woman’s body, is not easy. In addition, I am handicapped and the way I walk was a concern for the doctors. They were afraid that I would fall and that would not be good. Then I had to start chemotherapy because I had 31 nodes removed and there was cancer in one. Chemo took all my hair out. It made me so sick that I could not even stand the smell of food. I finished chemo and I then had to receive radiation therapy. Radiation was not as bad as chemo. I made it through. My treatment is over now. But, I will be monitored for five years. I am Cancer free. With God on my side, I will make it. The Witness Project is a great help because we support each other.