But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as Eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Friday, April 8, 2011


 As many of you are aware, Breast Cancer has become personal for me with my mother and sister being diagnosed with breast cancer in the last 15 months.  Because we had never been touched with breast cancer in our immediate family, it came as a shock to us.  My mother passed away last February (2010) and my sister is in remission after a double masectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation.

Now I must travel that same road as I have just been diagnosed with breast cancer myself.  I have personally had several "cancer scares" in my life and have dodged the bullet....until now.  My mother was diagnosed in Dec 2009 and my sister was diagnosed in January 2010, and I followed in February 2010 with my mammogram showing 4 calcifications that had to be biopsied, which resulted in one surgery and a benign report on all 4.  Then I had a follow up mammogram in August 2010 and all was fine.  But, now just 8 months later I have breast cancer.  The first time I said "I have breast cancer" out loud, I felt numb.  When they first found the "dark spot" and I was asked to come back for more diagnostic imaging and an ultrasound and then a biopsy, I had a gut feeling by the way they were acting.  Then when they wanted to ultrasound my lymph nodes, I "knew".  But, I didn't get the official results until yesterday and today I had to go for a consultation.

The consultation went well and I left feeling upbeat and positive.  It wasn't the best news...but it wasn't the worst news either.  I have invasive ductal carcinoma.  What does that mean?  Well, my cancer began in the milk duct, but was not contained there.  It grew big enough to break through the duct wall into my breast tissue, making it invasive.  The treatment....a choice between a lumpectomy or masectomy, radiation and chemotherapy....followed with Tamoxifen (a pill taken for 5 years that will keep my body from producing estrogen, which in my case is feeding my cancer).  I had helped research my sister's cancer last year, so already was aware of a lot and have learned a lot.  I'm a firm believer in researching and learning as much as you can....to be able to make informed decisions.  All of this research helped me today to understand and remember what the doctor was telling me. 

Now, I do want to say something.  I'm not "all doom and gloom".  Much stride has been made in the treatment of breast cancer.  While there is some bad news, I prefer to look at the good news!

#1 - the doctor believes it's been caught early

#2 - She doesn't believe it's in my lymph nodes,based on the ultrasound, but there is no certainty until she removes a couple of lymph nodes to biopsy them.  So, I will keep hope for my lymph nodes to be clear

#3 - I am being treated at a Breast Center, where they only deal in breasts!  I feel very good about that and today proved to me that I'm in the right place.  The doctor spent 2 hours with me and was so kind and compassionate and thorough, followed up with a hug. 

#4 - I found out that my breast cancer is ER/PR positive, which is a good thing.  It would be harder to treat if it was negative because it would not respond to the Tamoxifen pill.  I was particularly worried about this because my sister was diagnosed with Triple Negative in this area, which is rarer and harder to treat.

#5.  The tumor is 2.5 cm...so not the smallest, but certainly not the largest...a little larger than a peanut.

#6.  I'm Stage 2 and Grade 2....certainly not the worse.

#7 - I'm a fighter!  I've had battles before and they have just made me stronger!  I will fight to beat this!  I deal with things as they come and have a strong faith and know that God will be by my side every step of the way.  My faith and sense of humor will get me through whatever lies ahead. 

#8 - And my family and friends....they will be there for me and I can't thank them enough!  I feel so loved.  I promise them I will fight this with everything I've got and keep a positive, upbeat attitude.  I can do this!  Let's get 'er done!

Now, before I can make the decision between a lumpectomy or masectomy, I need to get a few more tests back.  I'm still waiting on a Her2 test (hoping it to be negative) and on Monday I will be going for an MRI, which can see any small growths that may have been missed with the mammogram and ultrasound.  I will also be having a blood test to be tested for a genetic mutation.  Once these tests come back, I will know more about what type of surgery to have.  Regardless of the surgery, I will be having the radiation and chemotherapy.  I wonder if I'll look good in those cute bandanas!  :=)

My message to you...PLEASE GET YOUR MAMMOGRAMS!  My mom's, my sister's, and now my breast cancer was caught by our mammograms.  I, nor my doctors, felt a lump and still don't.  I know how easy it can be to get "lax" about your mammograms...I have done it myself in the past.  But, I realize more than ever how important they are.  Had I not gone to my mammogram, the cancer would just keep growing until it would go into other parts of my body.  With my mammogram, I've caught it early.  If you have any questions or perhaps are going through your own "journey", please don't hesitate to email me.


  1. I am so glad you chose to open this blog, Cindy, as a way of keeping your family, friends, and acquaintances updated on your decisions and progress. You are a remarkable writer. The facts, emotions, and your personality shine through. I want you to know I am just a message away if you ever need me for anything. I admire your determination and unwaivering faith as you come face to face with this challenge. You are such a positive person and I believe that's half the battle of overcoming trials such as this. God bless you and be with you through the entire process. I have to say you are a true inspiration to those of us who have known you for years; as I am sure you are to new friends as well. Thank you for being open and caring; realizing we will all want to be here for you. Sending you lots of positive energy, prayers, and hugs! Love you, girl! ~ Brenda