Hi there to all of you inspiring women! I am a 43 year old mom of 3 little boys. Originally from Boston & Burlington VT, we settled here in Pittsburgh almost 3 years ago to be closer to my in-laws.
On 9/19/19 I was diagnosed with stage 1 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma in my right breast. I had a cyst there for several years- an ultrasound in 2004 showed it was just a cyst so I never worried about it. With no family history of breast cancer and consistently clear mammograms for 3 years, breast cancer just wasn’t on my radar. (I now know that mammograms aren’t the best for detecting cancer in dense breast tissue). Last summer it seemed to grow and become more painful, so after another mammogram & ultrasound/biopsy of the cyst they found the cancer. I was very lucky – it hadn’t spread and the tumor was small. I opted for a double mastectomy with reconstruction ASAP- I wanted it out and wanted to do the most I could possibly do to survive. On 10/22 I had my surgery and pathology showed clear margins, with an ONCO score of 13. In December I started my 5+ years of tamoxifen. I’ve been doing very well and I’m so thankful for my amazing nurses & doctors, family, friends & neighbors who helped so much along the way. I struggle with the terms “Warrior” or “survivor” as I don’t feel like I had to fight the way most of you have, and I’ve never been comfortable saying I’m cancer free, as I’m always afraid it’s still hiding and creeping around in there somewhere. But I know I’m so lucky! And I’ve met some really amazing women on this journey.