In June 2006, Kathy was diagnosed with invasive ductal cancer of the right breast. She was an apparently healthy, 45-year-old with no family history of breast cancer. And, since she was premenopausal, Kathy had not taken hormone replacements. Even though she had been having annual mammograms and clinical exams since she was 40, Kathy didn’t know she had fibrocystic breast disease a noncancerous disease that can sometimes cause lumps in the breasts.
After finding the lump in early April 2003, Kathy’s gynecologist ordered a diagnostic mammogram, which was read as normal no masses detected. Then, Kathy underwent an ultrasound, which showed the mass. One month later, she had an excisional biopsy that revealed malignant, invasive multifocal ductal carcinoma. Kathy’s experience over 27 years as a registered nurse did nothing to prepare her for the devastating diagnosis.
It’s been one year since Kathy’s mastectomy and six months since she completed chemotherapy. Kathy’s pleased with the result of her breast reconstruction, thanks to an outstanding surgeon. She’s gotten by with some beautiful wigs, but her hair is now growing back.
Kathy attributes her recovery to several things: her faith; the excellent medical care she received from nurses, doctors and other health professionals; and a large network of friends and family who were there for her. A full-body scan in June 2008 showed no metastases or recurrent disease. Kathy’s thankful for each day and looks forward to many healthy and happy days ahead.
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