Stick A Needle In It…

I pray that my story…. will encourage every single woman who is 30 and above… to ask their doctor for a mammogram… 30 is the new 40 in my opinion for breast cancer… obviously it does not discriminate… I see 17 & 18 year old girls on these message boards who have it… 😦

Every person who’s looked at me… assures me… what I have now was not there in April. I am not convinced. They said it was cysts…Maybe if it was a completely different location, the opposite side… but this is the EXACT same location as last April…  Well… and what they saw yesterday they thought was a cyst too…. and it wasn’t. But it did look like a cyst on ultrasound. It may come back benign… and if so… FABULOUS… but I told them yesterday… one breast or two, it doesn’t matter… because these are coming off. My cancer is a hormone based cancer… I will not take any chances…

Get your mammogram… if it’s all clear… Great! But, if they see ANYTHING… have them stick a needle in it! The biopsy really wasn’t that painful… I couldn’t lift for 2 days… I used ice packs.. never even took a tylenol! My motto… better safe than sorry. And all of the ultrasound techs have said the same thing….

I was at my family doctor earlier today… and she took a lot of time to talk to me… I think I have bronchitis at the moment…. anyway… she said that Asian countries do not have breast cancer and she credits our fabulous American diet to why we do! Think of how different… veggies, rice… broths, tofu… little meats… little refined sugars…. which is why there is such a high occurrence here in the US.

Repeat after me… if they see anything… be your own advocate and tell them… Stick A Needle In It!!!!

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….