Staring down 40 and at age 39 (back in 2009) putting in the 70 hour work week in Corporate America, I decided to take up running..the ol’ “I’m staring down 40, I should exercise, eat right…how about I get into running”. I dropped quite a bit of weight and noticed a lump right below my collar bone and above the right breast.
Total God thing on how my tumor was detected. Going in for my long-overdue mammogram and completing the forms, one of the questions was, “have you noticed a lump since your last mammogram?”. YES!
As a result, they ran a diagnostic mammogram rather than a screening one and found a mass near the chest wall inside the left breast….interestingly enough- this mass would have gone undetected under a screening mammogram.
Next step was the ultrasound and the technician said it didn’t look like cancer but wanted to run a biopsy just to be sure.
During the biopsy, the lump on the right side that motivated my trip to the OB-GYN ended up being a benign cyst. The mass picked up by the diagnostic mammogram on the left side at the chest wall was malignant.
After weeks of prods and pokes and tests, I found that I was Stage 2B, ER+/HER2-.
Once it sank in that “i have cancer”, I declared that cancer found the wrong body. While there were moments of fear in my journey, I came back to declare that cancer found the wrong body.
Finding myself at MD Anderson, they were ready to run me through chemo to shrink the tumor before removing it. While my only medical education came from watching ER and parts of Grey’s Anatomy….something didn’t feel right. In getting a 2nd opinion through Baylor College of Medicine, it turned out through the Oncotype DX test, chemo would not have been the best 1st step for me. Surgery was.
Early detection and information are 2 keys to making your best decision for you. I have a theory on what brought on my cancer as breast cancer does not run in my family. Feel free to contact me and I am happy share. If anything, it’s information to consider.
Check out a recent interview I did with Prosper High School Eagle News Nation as a way to help raise awareness. These kids are amazing.