My story has taken many different twists and turns in the past year but I am finally at a place where I am able to share my journey. It began in early February when I was feeling some discomfort and pain on my right breast. I immediately made an appointment to see my gynecologist to have everything checked out. At the appointment my doctor
did not feel anything out of the ordinary in my breast but she decided to send me for a diagnostic mammogram to be on the safe side.
After having the mammogram the technician said they would like to me to have an ultrasound done and then would like me to talk to one of the radiologists. Because of large clusters of calcifications in one breast they wanted me to have them biopsied.
On February 16, 2015, 2 days after my biopsy, my life as I knew it changed forever. I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I think at that moment I went into complete shock and feared for my life. I instantly started to think how long I would have to live and spend time with my two young children and my husband. Would I see them graduate from Grammar School, see them go to High School, College or get married? Would my husband be able to raise our children on his own? I went to that dark place out of fear.
When I received the results of my PET scan it showed that my cancer had metastasized and my diagnosis was a stage 4 Breast Cancer. I knew that my treatment options were very limited and I was very scared. I will never forget the day I met with my oncologist for the first time at the University of Chicago, Dr. Olopade.
She asked me the question "What do you want me to do for you?" I proceeded to tell her I wanted her to save my life and I wanted to live. I think it's the first time I had shared my thoughts and had decided I wanted to fight the biggest fight of my life.
"OK, that's what I wanted to hear" and then she said, "Let's get started!"
I believe that I may not be here to share my story today if I did not find Dr. Olopade. She was the first doctor who gave me hope. I will always be forever thankful to my family for never giving up hope was I was not able to and finding this extraordinary doctor.
I had started by having a hysterectomy because my cancer is estrogen positive and my estrogen was feeding my cancer cells so we shut down the food supply. Then I was placed on an oral hormonal chemotherapy along with an estrogen blocker medication. I am also receiving osteoporosis injections once a month because my breast cancer had metastasized onto several areas of my spine. This has created daily chronic pain that I will continue to have to live with. I am currently still in treatment with the hope that one day my cancer will be in remission and stay at rest for a very long time