Survivor Kate Melton
On October 29,2009 I had a negative mammogram. SIX WEEKS LATER , On December 15, 2009 I woke up and felt a little pain in my right breast and I felt like my heart stopped for a second as I felt a lump when I touched the spot where I felt that little pain. There was no denial for me , I went to work as I was a Neurological Intensive Care nurse, I called Dr Whitfield, my GYN as soon as the office opened and 4 hours later, on my lunch hour I was in his office. Of course, he agreed with me and the next day I had a repeat mammogram and sonogram, the 3rd day I had my biopsy.
On December 12, I called the Solis Center at Baylor where I had my biopsy that wasn’t back yet but she would check into it. I remember Julie the lady who called me back with the report being so kind and soothing. I had the breath knocked out of me and all I could say was ” could you stop a minute while I lay down on the floor. I feel faint.”
She then urged me to remember that help was available and gave me the name and number of Sherree Bennett. I was in shock. I also remember calling Sherrie Bennett’s number, she’s a Breast Cancer Navigator at Baylor. Sherree wasn’t there but I made an appointment to see her. Bill came home at that point and we cried together and from that point on we decided to be positive.
I called Dr Milam’s office and made an appointment to see her as I knew her from work. She had taken care of my sisters who had lung cancer in 2003 -2005. She saw me the next day. God bless her!
The following day-the day before Christmas, I saw the surgeon Dr. Sharif as all of the regular Breast cancer surgeons were out of town. The day after Christmas I had a PET scan. The day after New Year’s, I saw what I thought was little spot on that midget body on the screen and Dr. Sharif discussed mastectomy encouraged me to see Dr. Rumalla for implant. Well before it was all said and done, I decided to have double mastectomy and implants.
Now I was a nurse and a Neurological ICU nurse to boot so I had no working knowledge of breast cancer.
Hence the best thing Bill and I ever did was see Sherree Bennett, a breast cancer Navigator at Baylor and very active with Susan G. Komen. She explained Triple Negative breast cancer and treatments in terms both Bill and I could understand. She gave us a book of information and highlighted my issues from the biopsy and pathology. It is a bit overwhelming and I was a nurse! I know Bill felt a lot better and we knew what to expect.
On January 13, 2010 I had the surgery with expanders placed and had 4 drains, two on each side. After several weeks, Dr. Rumalla started injecting the expanders.
I was triple negative plus HER-2 Negative, such luck but no metastasis on the PET Scan and no involvement in the lymph nodes (per Dr. Mary Milam, my oncologist) Can you believe it? God is good!
I started chemotherapy- Adriamycin, Taxotere, and Cytoxan combo for 4 or 5 rounds -1 every 3 weeks. She ordered my Decadron, Phenergan, Zofran and Emend for the treatments .
I had an e-Mail blog going to keep people informed and I wrote:
“Life is good. I have some wonderful neighbors. , Sorority sisters and spouses, family and friends!!!!!!!! I have prayed, been prayed for and with. Thanks for the wonderful cards, words of encouragement and reminders of why we are here for each other.
Yesterday my friend Margaret took me to Dr Rumalla who was quite pleased with my
expanders and healing process and event placed a little fluid into the bad breast side. He took out 2 drains of the 4 and scolded me for doing too much and not to raise my arms higher than 90 degrees-well if that was the case I couldn’t even turn on a light switch> therefore I watched TV all day and wrote a few thank you notes> I’m worn out laying still!!! I get to see him again on Feb 4 before my first chemo and maybe do one more fill. After that he is taking a backseat to my oncologist Dr Mary Milam. She has enough anti-nausea drugs ordered for me that I might be in ga-ga land for a few days after. I’m not sure how I will react but do know that I love and am grateful to all of you for the prayers and support. I will continue to keep you in my prayers.”
I also wrote on January 23, 2010
“Please remember I warned you all I was going to get sympathy donations for the Susan G Komen race for the cure and I just registered as team leader for the Kate Melton NICU at Plaza team. It only takes a little from everyone to make a big difference/ See directions below+++++
I keep a copy of my blog to remind with faith, friends, prayer, humor, and a positive attitude, You can get through anything. I continued life, exercise and of course prayer.