Tuesday, October 6, 2009

8 year survivor


As we all know October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. I want to share my story with you. I apologize for the length. This is the condensed version.

On this date 8 years ago I found my lump. It was on a Saturday night and I remember it well . I was watching TV and something told me just to feel this particular spot. And there it was! It wasn't painful but I knew it didn't belong there.

On Monday I was going to call the doctor but had plans to go with my daughter and friends to Webster. Webster is home to a great farmers market with lots of really neat junk. Nothing was going to spoil my trip!

Tuesday morning I did call my doctor. I was given an appointment for Thursday. He examined me and scheduled me for a mammogram. One out of eight women will get breast cancer, those are the grim statistics. Guess what??? There were 8 of us in the waiting room and guess who got called back? Me, of course! I was the one out of eight.

My journey with breast cancer began. I had to tell my 11 year old daughter that her mommie had cancer. It broke my heart. I was so afraid but went through all of it a with a big smile and great attitude and much much prayer and so much love and support from family and friends.
I had a lumpectomy Nov 29 then another lumpectomy when I had the port put in Feb 2002 because I found another lump before beginning chemo. I had almost a 4 month wait to begin chemo and really don't know why it took so long. I got 6 rounds of a chemo cocktail consisting of 5-fluorouracil, Cytoxan and Adriamycin aka the red devil. Then 38 radiation treatments which included 5 super blasts called boosts. I took Tamoxifen for 2 1/2 years then have been on Arimidex since, will take it for 5 years. I had cancer it didn't have me became my new motto. Checkups every 6 months now.

My friend shaved my head when I started losing my hair. My sister cut her hair so super short and my brother buzzed his head. My Daddy asked me if my head got cold at night. My Mama looked at me funny, she was in failing health herself and sometimes I don't think she understood what was going on with me.

That was 8 long years ago and I sometimes forget I ever had cancer. I still have my port and will keep it til it gives me trouble, there is no rush to take it out. I actually think God should make us with one of them already built in. They are GREAT if you can imagine such a thing. I do tend to freak out a little when it come to my 6 months checkup, worrying about my tumor markers.

January 2009 I had the BRCA test done. This is a genetic test to see if I carry the breast cancer gene. It's only done by one lab in the world and it's in Salt Lake City, Utah. Very expensive and usually covered by insurance if your oncologist makes the request. My mother and her sister had breast cancer, my maternal grandmother had pancreatic cancer so he thought this a very good idea. I DO NOT CARRY THIS GENE!!! If Meagan gets cancer I didn't pass it on to her or any other member of my family.

I thank God everyday for my life, for healing me and God continues to keep me cancer free.

Please get your mammograms and do self exams!! Wear pink this month, I actually like pink now, didn't use to. Pray for a cure!

16 comments:

Art with Liz said...

Well done Becky - and much love to you.

Pearl said...

Thanks for sharing your story Becky, and congratulations on fighting the fight and beating that evil cancer!

Tweedles -- that's me... said...

Dear Becky
Thank you for taking the time to tell and share your story. You are very corageous, and I think you are awsome. We love your attitude and your fighting spirit!
Yeaaa Becky,,, good for you!
Your a brave heart to share the story
love
tweedles

Mountain Woman of Red Pine Mountain said...

Becky,

How frightening it must have been for you those 8 years ago. I'm so very thankful you are doing well. Thank you for having the courage to share this story with us.

Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

Visiting here from Mountain Woman's recommendation. I am currently having radiation treatments for breast cancer and she thought I'd enjoy reading your post, which I did! It's always encouraging to hear of cancer survivors and I feel so fortunate that I don't have some of the trials others had to go through, like chemo.

I never used to like pink either, but now it has a whole new meaning for me!

Marni said...

My mother is a survivor (5 years now) and my maternal grandmother passed away from this horrible disease when mom was 21 months old. I want to take the BRCA test, but am terrified of it. As a matter of fact I am reading a book on the subject now called "Pretty Is What Changes" and it is authored by a young woman that finds out she does carry the gene. Awesome read! And a true story.

You are a hero. 8 years is a loooong time and I am proud of you. I agree with Tweedles - I, too, love your attitude and fighting spirit!

Hugs and congrats on 8 years!

Sandy said...

Wow, I am in awe of your spirit. Thanks for sharing your story. I am beginning to know more people who have had cancer and it makes me realize that it's closer than I think and should never think it won't happen to me. Thank you for your sweet words about our Sugar...I sure do miss that little face and wagging tail.

chris said...

Thankfully your story has a happy outcome. My cousin had breast cancer and fought hard for 5 years but in the end didn't make it. It's a wonderful thing you had that test and know that you don't have the gene.

Robynn's Ravings said...

Wow Becky.....what a truly inspiring story. You beat that thing with God's help. I have had three close friends walk through this. I lost one, one is four years out, and the other just finished her last round of chemo and radiation last month. Yikes. But I also know a couple of women who are 30 years out. Amazing.

Thank you for your encouragement and I am THANKFUL to the Lord for healing you and sharing you with us!

Heather and Walter said...

That's right, pray for a cure! We are too and we ain't gonna stop!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

A wonderful story of survival becky. Congrats.

Love you "Girls night out" LOL!!

Paula - PAPugMom said...

Becky;

From one survivor to another, thank God we made it!

Hugs!

Neas Nuttiness said...

And I thank God that you're here too. Oh Becky, I miss you so much. You are so very dear to me, and I'm so very grateful for the years that we had together...going to Brandon to the pet store and to Buddy Freddy's. Reesecliff and field trips. Pugsgiving and PUBLIX!

I can't wait for next month...I'll get there on Wednesday night(18th), so I'll call you on Thursday morning. I hope that you can come over to Susan's. We can spend the day dipping pretzels in chocolate, and talking till we lose our voices, maybe watching a chick flick. Sound good to you?

Hey - guess what? When I'm up in NY, I get to see Punchy - Pug Possessed!

Magnolia Sun said...

Wow, you rock!!!

Sandra y Coco said...

Wow,what a story Becky! you are an example for the rest of us, of strengh and faith. Happy 8th year and many many many more to come!

Susan said...

Once again, I am way late commenting on your blog. I am so thankful you are a survivor. I walked a couple of Saturdays ago around Lake Hollingsworth with two friends...one a breast cancer survivor. It can happen to any one of us. Prayers to you for repeated good mammograms. I am getting mine the end of November.