Breast Cancer at 41:  One Year Ago Today

My tumor

My tumor

It’s actually, one year ago tomorrow, but I rather remember on this Friday, instead of my son’s actual birthday. 

The cupcakes my daughter made - what an outstanding job she did

The cupcakes my daughter made – what an outstanding job she did

One year ago today, I was sitting in a small changing area of the 2nd floor Woman’s Imaging Center of Hartford Hospital calling my 10-year old and asking her to finish frosting the birthday cupcakes of my 7-year old son.

I had just had a mammogram which showed a mass in my left breast and was waiting to have an ultrasound.  The ultrasound would determine if this mass was a cyst.  Unfortunately it was not.  It was cancer, but I would not receive the biopsy results until 17-days later.

Biopsy

Biopsy

In those 17-days I met with a plastic surgeon.  I had the lump biopsied.  I “celebrated” the 4th of July.  I waited the agonizing wait of “what if.”  It wasn’t until Monday, July 8th I received the call at work that I did indeed have breast cancer.

It’s been a year, but it seems like much more.

Today, I was back at Hartford Hospital receiving my 14th Herceptin treatment.  In the chair next to me, receiving her chemotherapy treatment was a 55-year old woman.  She was on her 3rd round of chemotherapy for stage 3 ovarian cancer.  She has been fighting for 10 years and the cancer has recurred twice.  This time it has spread to her liver.

Hearing her story reminded me of my mother’s 10 year battle with ovarian cancer.  Ovarian cancer often goes undetected until it has spread.  This makes it difficult to treat and it is most often fatal.

Results

Results

We were discussing our cancers and the breast cancer genes – BRCA1 and BRCA2.  She is going to be tested for the gene because she has sisters.  I encourage those who have a history of cancer in your family to be tested.  It’s a simple blood test just ask your OB for more information.

4th of July date night

4th of July date night

I’m thankful I found the cancer early.  I’m thankful I had the strength to have a bi-lateral mastectomy and complete hysterectomy.  I’m thankful I have the support of my family and friends.  I’m thankful I have excellent healthcare, doctors and for the beautiful, fabulous NURSES.  I’m thankful to social media for sharing my story and reaching back out to me to encourage and support me through the last year.  I am thankful to my loving husband who worships the quicksand I walk upon.

Getting fitted for mastectomy bras

Getting fitted for mastectomy bras

I am going to live.  I am going to persevere.  I am going to watch my children grow.  I am going to do whatever the hell I want to do.  And one day, I am going to hold my grandchildren.

So, thank you, God.  Thank you for the small blip of getting cancer at 41, because I am ready to live my life to the fullest and I will not disappoint.

The photos shared in this post were shared with my close friends, AKA “The Boobie Brigade” via my cell phone during those 17-days of waiting.  I will always be thankful to the members of the Boobie Brigade.  I love you girls!

From Nordstrom

From Nordstrom

5 Comments on “Breast Cancer at 41:  One Year Ago Today

  1. Kimberly, I am so glad that you share your stories. I can relate all too well as not only was I young (37), but I got the call to go for additional testing on my son’s 2nd birthday and my diagnosis was made the day before my 10-year wedding anniversary. These are all dates I shall never forget. And, similarly, having breast cancer at a young age and seeing my life flash in front of me has challenged me to do things I never would have dreamed of doing. So, I too, look at that blip as a pathway to being the person I never thought I could be. Wishing you continued health always. And, hope your son has a great birthday!

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  2. Thank you for being so open and honest over the past year. You’re an amazing woman, Kimberley, and its women like you who inspire me on a daily basis to live my life to its fullest potential. Keep rocking and doing what you do, because you’re simply amazing! If cancer can’t keep you from doing what you love, then nothing will!

    Like

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