Thursday, November 24, 2011


I am currently recovering from surgery. It was a long day but an important one. On this day I became 'cancer free' the tumor that had been invading my personal space had been removed. I have won my first battle. There are still many more hurdles to pass but this was the starting point. I admit being pushed into the pre-op area where I would normally meet my husband for lunch was scary. I could not believe that this was happening to me. To be placed in a bed next to other people who are not feeling well, not to mention many years older than myself, was quite frightening. My husband teared up too because he was entering the area not as a surgeon but as a patient's spouse. He never thought he would have to witness this. I remember being put onto the bed and getting changed into my clothes. I felt a sense of peace once I was dressed and had a blanket and warmers put on me. I knew this place was not meant to intimidate me or hurt me but to help me through this problem. The medicine helped quite a bit. I felt quite relaxed and was watching tv when my surgeon arrived to confirm what she will be doing that day. I don't remember anything after that except being laid onto the operating table and being told to breath into a mask. I fell asleep and woke up with both my husband and my doctor looking at me. I did not want to wake up, the floor nurse was trying to get me to wake up so I could go home but I did not want to go home. After a bit I realized the floor was going to be noisy and they were not going to read me bedtime stories and play soft music for me as I doze in a peaceful slumber so we went home. The days of recovery have been tiring and I have not slept this much since before my son was born. I must say though it feels great to know that the tumor is out and now onto the next step...getting the report of what stage and what treatment I will need to rid my body of any potential threats in the future.
I did hear a response back from La Leche League since I wrote to them regarding this matter of nursing and lumps. They are going to talk with their participants and encourage them to get lumps looked at. I just found out from my counselor another young mom, 27 years old, who is 8 months pregnant has breast cancer and they have to take the baby out early so she can start chemotherapy. A very scary situation!!! Please pass the word on!!! Get your lumps checked out!!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Surgery Tomorrow...2nd Battle

I will be undergoing surgery tomorrow. I am very excited because my body will be rid of this invading toxin. I know a person really cannot say 'cancer free' until all treatments are finished but I like to say tomorrow I will be cancer free, minus a few cells floating around, hopefully not!!!
I have decided to get a mastectomy, which is removal of one breast. The reason is because I am young and the younger a person is when diagnosed with this disease the more lethal it is. The one thing most people do not understand I have found out is premenopausal women usually are diagnosed with the higher grade of cancer than women who have reached menopause. The reason is because the disease feeds off of the hormones. I do not want to risk only removing the tumor and leaving any tissue behind that could possibly be hiding developing cells. I have strong support from my friends, some family and others have reacted with shock to my decision to remove a piece of my female anatomy, but which do I love more? My breasts or my life? When you are in survival mode nothing matters except your own life and your family.
I am not sure how I am going to react after surgery when I see my body. I know some days will be tough. I have cried because my son was given life from these breasts over the past year but they have done their job. They are now turning against me so time for them to be fired!!!
I hope tomorrow after surgery my doctor has good news that the cells have not invaded my lymph nodes and it has stayed local. I only have so much control over each day and the news presented to me.
A friend of mine told me tonight that I do have control over this. I had control over finding it and pushing others to help me get the right answer to what this lump was. She also confirmed I have control over how I choose the path to recovery. I felt better after hearing that, yes I do have control over this in some ways and I did start the path of winning the battle by finding the lump. That is why I am going to make sure new moms are aware of their bodies while breastfeeding and get lumps checked out!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

My Story So Far...

You are probably wondering what this site is all about. How could there be a site that combines a wonderful event in a young mom's life and a terrible disease. It can't happen right? Well it can and it has, to me. I am a 34 year old mom with a 13 month old boy and wonderful husband. We celebrated the birth of our son and I decided to nurse him for the past 13 months. I never thought the weaning process would involve a biopsy and breast cancer diagnosis.  It sounds scary, believe me it is, but unfortunately this happens to young mothers.
I found a lump in my breast over the summer. I asked my husband to take a look, my husband is a general surgeon and handles breast cancer surgery. He thought it felt concerning and told me to get an ultrasound. Of course we both felt it must be a clogged milk duct. We went to the ultrasound a couple of weeks later and were told it was a clogged milk duct, in fact the doctor in charge felt so good about it he did not feel a biopsy was necessary. I was so relieved! Of course it would be a clogged milk duct! What else could it be?
My husband told me to sign up for a follow up ultrasound a couple of months later, which I felt would be wise. Over the course of the next couple of months I started to wean my son, however the lump was staying the same size. I felt it should be getting smaller but it was not. I asked other moms about it and looked up online information on clogged milk ducts and they did not match up with my situation. I went to the final ultrasound a couple of months later. The tech looked at the lump and left the room mumbling the doctor was going to want to biopsy. It was then I knew that this was not a clogged milk duct. The doctor came in and told me she the lump had grown a small amount and there were some concerning borders. She wanted to biopsy the lump right then. I was stunned. This could not be happening to me!
The doctor did the biopsy and a few days later the report came back that I indeed had an aggressive form of breast cancer, although the tumor is about 2 cm, which may put me in at an early stage.
I will be starting my journey this week. I hope to have surgery this week and recover with a full stint of chemotherapy.
I have decided to keep a blog during my journey so I can make other young nursing mothers aware of the possibility of breast cancer. I almost decided to not go in for the second ultrasound and wait a few months, which could have put me in the later stages. I was told by many people and websites lumps are common and there is no need to worry. I want to make young mothers aware so maybe a life will be saved!!! Please follow my journey with me or lend me support as I make my way to being cancer free.