November is the month to give thanks and that's certainly the case for me. It was five years ago that I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
I was 41, healthy and completely shocked that it could happen to me! My world turned upside down with that one phone call. I got the news November 17th, three days before my husband's birthday.
The doctor's words still resonate in my head. "The news isn't good; you have breast cancer."
Now, five years later and my heart still skips a beat when I think about this journey.
My immediate concern was for my family; my children and my husband. What would happen to them if I died? But then I stopped and realized I was in for a fight and needed a plan of attack. I immediately started searching for answers and gathering my "team".
My surgeon scheduled appointments with an oncologist and radiologist and I made the rounds, making decisions for my future. Surgery, chemo and daily rounds of chemo would become part of my vocabulary. And I thank God every day for bringing the right doctors into my life.
I still go in for checkups and will for the rest of my life. I'm passionate about educating others about early detection. Every month, women should be doing Breast-Self Exams (BSE) to check their breasts for changes. Lumps and bumps don't always mean cancer but if you feel something different, call your doctor.
DON'T PUT IT OFF! That call could save your life! The experts also recommend women over the age of 40 go in for yearly mammograms. Yes, they don't feel good but it's one of the best tools for detecting small lumps. So schedule it today! And also you should be seeing your doctor every year as well. It's good to touch base with your overall health plus allow the doctor to perform a clinical breast exam.
I am so thankful for so many blessings! At the top of the list is being able to say I'm a five year breast cancer survivor! I hope you have a wonderful holiday season. This year, give yourself the best gift ever... peace of mind!
Breast Cancer Survivor