I was diagnosed with breast cancer during a routine mammogram in February 2021. The pathology report showed invasive lobular carcinoma. Fortunately, it was Stage 1a and I had a lumpectomy followed by 3 weeks of radiation.
I have no family history of breast cancer so it was quite a surprise to hear the diagnosis but it reminds me that family history is not the only factor for breast cancer.
I had a relationship with the Breast Cancer Coalition for many years – being on the Advisory Council, participating in the Pink Ribbon Walk/Run (now called the Pink & Teal Challenge), and attending events to support this wonderful organization! Holly was the first phone call I made once I learned of my diagnosis, as it was with many people when initially diagnosed.
My husband and I met with Holly who guided us through resources in Rochester.
We met with two surgeons and chose the second one as she made that special connection with patients and family members. When we left that appointment, I asked my husband, “What do you think?” Immediately he said, “She’s the one, but of course, it is your call.” I totally agreed, and it was the right decision for me.
I decided to do three weeks of radiation rather than twice daily for one week. I remember asking the radiation technologist if they were really “radiating” me because I felt nothing. Of course, they reassured me they were targeting a specific area, and all was good.
I joined the Coalition’s Newly Diagnosed/In Active Treatment discussion group virtually, and it was wonderful to have such a support group. We shared stories and were grateful for the opportunity to hear from others who had various experiences and felt supported.
I am a new member of the Breast Cancer Coalition’s Board of Directors, and I look forward to maintaining the wonderful legacy of this organization in supporting women and men diagnosed with breast and women diagnosed with gynecologic cancers.