Friday, December 26, 2014

If I hadn’t been in the habit of getting yearly mammograms, who knows what would have happened to me.

  • Chambersburg
  • Information technology professional
  • Strong family history of breast cancer

Two women in my family were diagnosed with breast cancer, so it was something very real to me. Beginning my annual mammograms at the age of 40 was just the smart thing to do. I was faithful in getting the screening, as well as doing self-exams. For 11 years my mammograms were clear.

At 52, things changed.

During a self-exam, I felt a lump in my breast. It was time to schedule my yearly mammogram appointment so I called right away and got a quick appointment at Rhonda Brake Shreiner Women’s Center. This time my mammogram wasn’t clear and the radiologists called me back for further testing.

I was not surprised when the results of my lumpectomy (which I opted for instead of a biopsy) came back positive for breast cancer.
A diagnosis of breast cancer is different for every woman. For me, it wasn’t scary. I knew other women who’d been through this. I knew that I could survive it. So I just started to fight.

My cancer was aggressive, so I needed to have a few surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation. But now, it’s been 8 years since my diagnosis and I’m doing well.
Through it all, the support from the community – family, friends, and strangers – was a blessing. I work in the technology department at Corpus Christi School, and the Pastor, Principal and my coworkers really pulled together to enable me to keep working with a modified schedule, while I was going through treatment.

That was so helpful.

Do you have advice for other women?
If I hadn’t been in the habit of getting yearly mammograms, who knows what would have happened to me. Maybe I would have waited another year. Maybe I would have disregarded what I felt in my breast, and what I knew in my heart and just put it off.

I didn’t do that because my yearly mammogram was already a habit for me, just like it had been for the 11 years prior – and it saved my life.
Get your mammogram. Why take that chance? Do it!

Breast cancer can be a survivable cancer if you can catch it in its early stages.

Schedule your mammogram today!