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Survivor Delia Atwood
Today as I am gathering my thoughts of my Breast Cancer journey I realize this is my 4 year anniversary to my double mastectomy surgery. So thinking back through the years to my mammogram I had in August 2013.
I had a lump in my right breast that we had been watching for about 5 years or so. I religiously had my mammograms done every year. This mammogram had been no different than the last few years and had no surprises or recommendations. December of that year I had been messing with it as it felt like it was just under the surface. I remember thinking it seemed to have gotten bigger.
I had an annual doctor’s appointment with my primary physician. I told her about my concern. She wrote me a prescription to have another mammogram done. I am thankful that she listened to my concern. I waited until late January to make the appointment as nothing had been mentioned during the August scan. My mammogram / sonogram was on January 30th. I almost cancelled my appointment but thought if something ever came out of it I would regret it. My first Biopsy was February 3rd. I was very positive throughout all my examinations, biopsies and MRIs. Thinking it’s nothing. February 5th I waited anxiously for the phone call. My phone rang at 2:40 PM, it was my primary Doctors Office. She spoke those words no one wants to hear. “You have cancer”. I was in shock. I broke down at the office.
The next few days were a whirlwind. All the doctors that were going to be involved in my journey worked together behind the scenes. The only appointment that I had to make on my own was for the plastic surgeon. My MRI was on February 17th, Genetic Testing on February 19th. Another Ultrasound and Biopsy on February 20th. I met my Plastic Surgeon on February 26th. Surgery was scheduled for March 19th. I elected the Double Mastectomy as the MRI showed additional lumps within the same breast and they were too far apart to do a lumpectomy. I decided to have both removed as I did not want to have a reoccurrence in the other breast. The Genetic Testing showed I did not carry the gene which was a blessing.
My diagnosis was Infiltrating Ductal Carcinomas, well differentiated, grade 1/111. I did not have to go through Chemo or Radiation treatments again another blessing. Boy am I thankful I kept the appointment. Cancer sure changes your outlook on life. I feel I am more humble and I don’t stress about the small stuff. I was fortunate to have great insurance through my company so I did not rely on any additional funding. I am thankful for having a wonderful family base and friends that reached out to me daily. My wonderful husband took care of me and my mother who stayed with me during the day.