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Old 06-22-2006, 01:05 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Tucson Arizona
Posts: 2
Young survivor

July 2nd of 2000 I gave birth to my second child, after a normal uneventful pregnancy. I breast fed for two months after which my breast size went back to normal (the suckers were huge my whole pregnancy) except for a golf ball sized lump in my right breast. Thinking it was a clogged milk duct, or something to do with breast feeding, I shrugged it off and went about my life. October rolled around and along with it Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I had just turned thirty and decided I'd better take this lump a little more seriously. I went to my Ob and she diagnosed it as a cyst. She told me to come back in 6 weeks if the mass hadn't shrunk or gone away completly. Six weeks later I was back in her office and she immediatley sent me for a mammogram and ultrasound. This is when I first heard the words "suspicous mass". And this is when I got the first inkling that something was really wrong. The mammogram was done first and sent into the radiologist while I went to the ultrasound department. Midway through the ultrasound, the radiologist came into the room and took over the exam himself. I know now that he knew exactly what he was looking at, but couldn't tell me without getting pathology first. So off to the surgeon I went to get a biopsy. I got the results on December 20th, 2000. My son had just turned 3, my daughter was 5 months old. I am fortunate to live in a state with an excellent cancer center which is where I went for surgery: bilateral mastectomies. Surgeons removed a 5.5 cm tumor, along with 14 positive lymph nodes. My cancer was 85%ER+, 95%PR+ and Her2+, Stage III infiltrating ductal carcinoma. Surgery was followed by four rounds of AC, which really was not that bad. Chemo never made me sick, just very tired. I shaved my head in anticipation of losing my hair, and had to keep shaving it as the hair only fell out in some places. After chemo came radiation, again, I just got very tired. I've been on Tamoxifen for 5 years now, and am now faced with the uncertainty of what to do for continuing treatment. One of the first things I did after being diagnosed was forbid any of my doctors to quote statistics to me. I am not a number, I told them, I am a person. And I didn't care what anyone said, I was living to raise my children. My intial diagnosis was pretty grim as far as 5 year survival goes, but there are always people who beat the odds and that was going to be me. So far, so good. Kathie Guerrero
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