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Survivor Guynell Whetstone
At my first mammogram appointment age 40, I had to have a couple of biopsies. Luckily all came back fine. Then four years later I had another abnormal mammogram. This time it required a sonogram and I felt like this time I wouldn’t be so lucky.
It was of course Thanksgiving weekend so I had to wait six days for the results. While driving to a work appointment I got the phone call …that call with the words you never want to hear… “you have cancer”.
I immediately pulled the car over… and while still in shock called a couple of friends. One friend immediately reached out to one of his clients who had recently been diagnosed and treated. She referred me to the then Joan Katz Breast Center for a navigation meeting. I met with nurse navigator, Sherree Bennett and thank God for that opportunity to discuss the situation and come up with a plan. I came up with a team of surgeons, oncologist and of course an arsenal of friends and planned my surgery date and recovery period.
I had a double mastectomy with reconstruction January 27, 2011. Here again I feel like a lucky one as chemo was not necessary after surgery. So after seven years of regular check ups I am cancer free.
I remember one thing from my time with visiting with Sherree – “use your cancer”. I was able to join the Komen 5K that April 2011 to walk with several of my friends. I was able to raise $2k+ for the organization. I have also volunteered for the Joan Katz Beyond the Bag event for the last five years.