This is the worst month of the year for me as a breast cancer survivor. The pretty pink ribbons and smiles..
I was diagnosed September 5, 2012 after a normal yearly mammogram. It was diagnosed as DCIS -Ductal Carcinoma In Situ which according to my breast surgeon was the most ” common” kind and a simply surgery would fix the problem and I would have to take a hormone suppressant for 5 years and that would be that.
They were wrong. A double biopsy showed that there was a tumor and lymph node involvement. The worst news EVER. This now meant a bilateral mastectomy and chemo and possible radiation.
My heart sank and my husband and I both cried. We have 3 small children, what if something happened? How was I going to take care of them while he worked and go through this because I had heard so many things about cancer and chemo all my life. (Unfortunately most of it on tv and you know always portray as a death sentence.)
My surgery was scheduled for October 26, 2012. I took and deep breath and thought, ok here we go. Bilateral mastectomy (both removed) with reconstruction because at 46, I knew I couldn’t deal with not having breasts at all.
October of course is Breast Cancer awareness month and there was pink EVERYWHERE and people happily asking me for donations and telling me to get my mammograms and all the while, I was dying inside. I never said anything. What was I going to say? I really wanted to burst out scream that it wasn’t that fun and to take all the pink down because it was hurting me. I also felt like everyone knew about my diagnosis and they were just rubbing it in my face. October was the worst month ever. Honestly? It still is!
This month I will post every day what it was REALLY like to have breast cancer, the gritty, not so nice details of a real woman going through the motions and the emotions of a horrible disease that label as pretty pink ribbons…
If anything, I hope it convinces you to do those self exam and more importantly get your mammograms!!! Breast cancer didn’t run in my family and I was religious about my mammograms and within 1 year, my cancer was stage 2a with lymph node involvement. Had I blew it off that year (I was 3 month overdue as it was) my oncologist (cancer dr) told me I wouldn’t have been alive by the next year because it was dead center and never would have been felt on the outside until an autopsy found it!