October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. I was diagnoses with Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS), April 2014 on my 48th birthday. DCIS is a type of breast cancer, where the cancer cells are encapsulated in one or more milk ducts. Here is my confession, as much as I’d like to say that I was the one who found the lump, I have to admit that my husband found it. According to my oncologist, there is a high incidence of the spouse finding the initial breast lump or tumor. Imagine that! Anyway, I had a partial mastectomy and then 7 weeks of radiation. Which was everyday, Monday through Friday. The first time I heard that I could have breast cancer, I think I was shock and that shock lasted until my first radiation appointment. On that day, none of my family could be with me and being a nurse I thought I could handle it but I was oh so wrong. As they placed the markers on my chest (which by the way, will stay with me for the rest of life because they use tattoo link to mark or map where the radiation will be targeting) the tears began to stream down my face and would not stop. There was no hiding from the fear of the unknown anymore and really that fear doesn’t ever leave.
Today was my 6 month check up which included a mammogram and 3D imaging. I am excited and so happy to say that I am cancer free! Thank you Father God! Yahoo!
Although, sometimes Tamoxifen is given to patients for 5 years as part of their treatment plan, the type of tumor cells that I had, was not hormone receptive so the side effects and dangers of Tamoxifen out weighed the benefits of adding it to my treatment. So, instead, I had to lose weight to get my Body Mass Index (BMI) below 25 which is healthy for my age and height, add flax-seed to my diet and Vitamin D which research shows can aid in preventing cancer. I am healthier than I was before and I look forward to the future.
So, today I wanted to add my story to the many women who have fought breast cancer.
- In 2015, an estimated 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 60,290 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.
- About 2,350 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2015. A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000
- .About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic mutations that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general, rather than inherited mutations.
- The most significant risk factors for breast cancer are gender (being a woman) and age (growing older).
(Statistics found on http://www.breastcancer.org)
Hug your loved ones and please pray and support those women who are still fighting breast cancer.