The year started out as any other year. I had just turned 50 so I made my regular appointment for my physical and mammogram. I had noticed a small lump forming under my arm but I didn’t take it to serious. After all, there was no history of breast cancer in my family.
That small lump turned into a “Suspicious mass”, with “linear calcification”, so I was sent to a breast surgeon for a biopsy. I remember after the exam the doctor said ”I'm afraid we may be going down the path of breast cancer." I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I responded "What if I don't want to go down that path?" Of course no one wants to take this path but on April 28, 2009 I recieved that dreaded phone call. The diagnosis was Invasive Ductal Carcinoma with a grade III aggression. The decision was made to start neoajavant chemotherapy, which simply means before surgery. Thus the journey began.
My course of treatment was ACT 8 cycles, one every other week. My sweet husband never missed a treatment. Although the chemo did shrink the tumors, (one was gone completely), I had three areas of infultration. So In September I had a right breast modified mastectomy with lymph node disection (27 nodes removed) Finally, I finished with 28 rounds of radiation. Now since my cancer was hormone possitive, I am currently taking Femara daily. So I guess my journey continues. And I hope to have reconstruction in the future.
I believe we are so much more than the physical body we live in, but breast cancer attacks so much more. I lost my right breast, my hair, my stamina, and even my mind at times. When I thought I didn’t have the strength to go on, I felt my God take my hand to get me through another day. It is only with his help and the love and support of my wonderful family and some great friends that I found strength I never knew I had. I may not be back to “normal”, but I am here. And that’s ok. So I cherish each day and reach out to each person who touches my life with hugs from Alice.
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