I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017. Hearing the words “You have cancer” is life-changing. In 2015 I went for my regular health check up (from head to toe) and unfortunately there was a lump on my left breast which was palpable. Therefore, I was sent to get a mammogram and sonogram too. When I went for my mammogram the results were not clear so a sonogram was performed which demonstrated that it was a cyst, but on the other breast it demonstrated that I had a problem on my right breast. It was showing calcification so I was sent to get a biopsy on the right side of the breast. It took care of the calcification and everything was cleared.
Unfortunately, a biopsy of the left breast never was done because at that time it wasn’t orderd by the doctor because honestly he just made a mistake by assuming that it was just a cyst (big mistake). I should had been my own advocate, but I failed to do so because I trusted the doctor’s words. In 2016, I decided to skip my mammogram routine exam (big mistake) because I had put my trust in my doctor who told me that the lump on my left breast was just a cyst and that I shouldn’t worry, but I noticed that the lump grew to the size of a grape as the years passed.
How My Body Reacted
My body started to give me little signals that something wasn’t right and it started to bother me because of the way the lump felt, and I started to have a burning sensation. Two years went by and I was living my life to the fullest, exercising, eating healthy and I was in the best shape of my life at 45 years old. I had the mentality, since breast cancer doesn’t run in my family, I was ok so I wasn’t too worried because my doctor’s words still resonated in my mind. I guess I pushed the idea of cancer out of my mind and just kept living my life with a lump.
Finally, it was 2017 and I didn’t want to have the lump there anymore so I went to my doctor and started to become my own advocate. I convinced him to send me to San Antonio to get a biopsy of the lump and after fighting him for this request, he finally sent me to get the biopsy. Sadly, the results came back that I had had cancer all this time. I had been misdiagnosed by a doctor who told me that it was just a cyst and not to worry. The cancerous tumor couldn’t had been detected by a regular mammogram because of my having dense breasts. I was 45 years old when I was diagnosed with breast cancer (Aggressive, Stage 2, grade3, triple Positive, Her2+). I did everything from chemotherapy, surgery, herceptin, radiation, and presently hormone therapy. In 2018 when I completed chemotherapy, there was no celebration. My doctor said he was prescribing hormone therapy which is medication for patients who have hormone-fed cancer like me.
After reflecting on my little story, I am sure that many things could have been avoided like chemo, if I had listened better to my gut feeling. What I’ve learned from this experience is to not settle for one opinion, always get a second opinion, never be afraid to ask questions, or to do your own research, because knowledge is power and makes us less afraid when dealing with a cancer diagnosis. I have learned to listen to my body, the signals the body sends, and if something strange appears in your body or on your body, please don’t wait, please get it checked by a good doctor.
I am happy to have good doctors and nurses that treated me with compassion and It has been three wonderful years and I am thriving and there is No Evidence of the Disease (NED). Thanks to God. I want to say thank you to ThriveWell Cancer Foundation because they assisted me and provided me with cancer patient support funds, gasoline card etc. The people from ThriveWell are friendly, and caring and they do a lot for cancer patients.
Be your own advocate, keep thriving and never give up!!
Breast Cancer Thriver