I have breast cancer…

###4 words a woman never wants to repeat in her life…. but wait… I have no maternal history… but I breastfed my kids…. I shouldn’t have breast cancer, I’m too young…

But… I have breast cancer….

Last March, 2013… I found some lumps… I got into my doctor… I pushed my mammogram up and I got in fairly quickly… April, 2013… they scheduled me for diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound…. The radiologist on staff, quickly told me… you’re fine.. just some cysts… come back in a year! I was thrilled!!!! I didn’t give it another thought…

November 6, 2013… I’m a wedding photographer. I’m busy… extremely busy in the heart of wedding season. I have a 4 year old…  when I bathe, he bathes… I’m generally concerned about him… hop in, hop out… I don’t take time to inspect. So.. I have no idea how long it’s been there… But, I happened to capture a glimpse of myself in the mirror and was like… what in the heck is that?! I sent my husband a pic, my Mom a pic… they agreed. I needed to go in. I went in the next day to my family doctor… she ordered me another mammogram and ultrasound. They didn’t want to get me in until November 21. I called that Friday and was like listen… my breast is really strange… and this is the same location it was last April…. and a nice lady named Jennifer said…. Can you come in today at 2:30.  YES!

Many things were different about this appointment… they took much longer, asked me questions like “are your breasts always this hard”, etc… The radiologist came in and HE also checked me out via ultrasound… and he told me, that he was VERY concerned… these were huge changes from the last mammogram. He told me other things, it was a blur… I asked him to please explain to my husband. He did… and he said, he does not think that anything benign would cause the nipple to cave in like it was… and cause the dimpling in the skin…

I had a very long weekend and a wedding ahead of me… which was probably good because I kept occupied. I had a biopsy scheduled for the following Tuesday.

November 14th, 2013… I get the phone call…. Are you in a place where you can talk? My heart sank…. I knew it. She said… Dawn, we found Invasive Ductal Carcinoma and Invasive Lobular Carcinoma. It’s also in your lymph node… We will have someone to call and have you scheduled for Surgical Oncologist…because this will require chemo and surgery. I got off the phone… and bawled my eyes out… My husband quickly came to me and we just cried….

November 15th, 2013… I had an MRI… my whole family.. minus Greyson came along with me to support me. I thought we would get some answers…. We were on the car ride home and the phone rang…. We found some lumps in your right breast and we need you to go in and have them analyzed… which I was scheduled  for today… and I am awaiting the results… We know that your cancer is estrogen/progesterone related.. They will have you undergo genetic testing… We know that one of the tumors is 3.8cm and the other is in your lymph node. We will not know how many lymph nodes it has affected until we remove them. I quickly messaged my doctor who explained it all and graciously advocated for me.. when they tried to tell her they didn’t have availability… she said.. NO… you need to get her in Monday (today). They do not believe that I had this back in April.. although I am not convinced…. they said it’s just a very aggressive form of cancer…

I don’t know the stage, yet… I will go to my surgical oncologist on Wednesday to hopefully have more answers… My results from today’s tests from the right breast should be in by then…. and I pray we have a course of action…

Today’s findings… they thought the lump was a cyst… but it wasn’t. It would not aspirate…. so they biopsied it… and we will know those results hopefully Wednesday…

I plan to document my journey… and hopefully educate and create awareness for other women… and I plan to beat this… I have kids. I have a husband who loves me very much. I have parents who need me… I have friends who love me….

I’m scared. Petrified actually… I told my husband… I know I have cancer. Other than a chest cold… I feel fine. A little tired maybe more than usual… but I feel fine. I don’t know if I am even prepared for what is to come. I didn’t realize you lose your eyelashes and eyebrows.. just didn’t occur to me… I thought you lost the hair on your head. We are probably going to have both breasts taken… everyone tells me this is what I should do… and hopefully have them reconstructed… if possible. But, am I prepared to go through the loss of my breasts? I honestly don’t know…. but to keep my spirits up and to keep my mind clear… this will be my outlet….

I am still wrapping my head around all of this… some moments I’m fine.. the next I’m crying…. My eyes are very puffy these days… lots of crying… then laughing… then more crying…. it’s just so surreal….

12 thoughts on “I have breast cancer…

  1. I know your head is swimming right now and that’s absolutely normal. I just wanted to say that you are so much more than this. You have cancer, but that does not define who you are. You are a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, and above all else, a strong, beautiful woman. Cancer can’t change any of that! Love you!

  2. Love you Dawn..I will be here to help support you through your journey as best I can..Many prayers will be said for you and your family..Place this in God’s hands and he will take care of you my dear..

  3. You are strong and courageous and will beat this! My grandmother said the same things you did..she breast fed 7 kids, no history and bam, she has breast cancer. Her journey is ongoing and she is fighting like hell….as I know you will and beat out the cancer. Stay strong and realize that so many are praying for you and through your writing, battling with you. Hang in there

  4. You’ve got this Dawn! Don’t get me wrong this will be a long journey but with God on your side you can’t go wrong. He has a plan for you and it will become so clear. It may seem hopeless at times but hold on to just that. HOPE!!!

    You have the support of your family and friends and take all of the support you can. This was hardest for me when I wa diagnosed. I said this CANT be happening to me. I now know my reason for me getting breast cancer. To be there for others. Just please know I AM
    HERE FOR YOU ANY PLACE ANY TIME!! And I mean that. You will have to accept that. I know it’s hard. But i have had to learn to let others help because that is their joy. You would want to help someone if the tables were reversed.

    I continue to pray for you and your family. God Bless!

  5. Oh Dawn… I know we have never met in person but when you went through everything with Greyson I was praying everyday along with hundreds of other WTE moms. We have talked briefly about photography and from what I can tell you are just the sweetest woman. I went to check in on your page and my heart just sank. I hate that you and your family have had to go through so much over the past few years. I know you are strong, I know you can beat this. I will continue praying for you and your beautiful family.

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