Editor's Note: October is breast cancer awareness month, and each Saturday the Daily Post will publish the story of a local breast cancer survivor, culminating with the "Read Pink" edition on Oct. 27. The feature will take readers through the battle in a survivor's own words.-- Compiled by staff writer Tyler EstepMy diagnosis: In Oct. 2010 after I had my annual exam and mammogram there was nothing that had shown up. A few months later I noticed a lump in my right breast, made an appointment with my doctor and from then on it was one doctor after the other. Ultrasound, biopsy, lumpectomy and another surgery to remove 12 lymph nodes.
I remember my husband came home early from out of town "to break the news." I felt as though I had been hit by a freight train, someone had knocked the air out of me. Why me? Angry with y husband for delivering the news, calling and crying to my sister because of fear, hugging my child because I didn't want to die...
My battle: From the beginning it's a battle, one for your life. The surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, blood work, nausea, the loss of hair, fear, no energy, tears, loss of appetite, needles, doctors, nurses, weight gain, weight loss, "chemo brain," lymphodema, questions, uncertainty, joy, laughter, friendship and love.
That freight train that you are hit by, you feel as though you are going 100 miles per hour. There is no doubt that you are going into war and breast cancer is the enemy. My doctor was my captain, while his nurses (you know who you are), my family and friends were my soldiers. I have won that battle and now I am a warrior!
My advice: My journey will not be the same for you and others that I know that have traveled this road, but one of the things I know is it has been a blessing. As you walk down this road it may get a little bumpy. There are good things that come out of this; find humor when you can and surround yourself with positive people.
I have had the honor and privilege to meet new people, in particular a group of ladies who became members of a club we didn't want to be in, who show courage, love, faith and strength on a daily basis.
I am lucky to have them be a part of my life. Cancer has pushed us to new limits and we made it through. So for the many women before us, those who are starting their journey and unfortunately for some who are no longer with us, live life!