- Retired music teacher
- No family history of breast cancer
My husband and I are both music teachers. I taught Middle School music in Chambersburg, and I play the piano, organ, saxophone, and sing. After I retired, music just continued to be a part of my life. I’m a member of the “Summer Singers” and we perform at retirement communities throughout the summer months.
Just like how you can’t miss a beat when playing music, I never missed a beat when it came to getting my mammograms. I started getting them around the age of 40, when my doctor told me I needed to start. Throughout the years, they’ve detected lumps and cysts, but about 5 years ago, after my mammogram at Rhonda Brake Shreiner Women’s Center, they called me back.
“This could have only been detected by mammogram.”
I remember my doctor telling me that a self-exam wouldn’t have found my tumor. The doctor told me that the tumor was so close to my sternum, that neither of us would have felt it. It could have only been detected during my screening mammogram – that is until it was bigger. They found my breast cancer at Stage 1.
I had a lot of support from the community and my church and friends. And, now, like the kind people who were willing to answer my questions, I’ll talk to anyone about my breast cancer, and provide encouraging words to those who are going through surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy like I did.
Do you have advice for other women?
Everyone needs to get their mammogram because you never know. Not knowing is worse for me than knowing. Once I knew I had cancer, I could work on treating it and moving on. I don’t dwell on it.
It’s also upsetting to hear in the community, on television, in the newspapers that people are telling women they can wait until they are 50 or older to start getting mammograms. I’ve seen so many young women in their 30s with breast cancer. Mammograms save lives, please don’t wait.
Husbands also need to be educated and understand how important mammograms are for their wives. Men should be encouraging their wives to get her mammogram.
Untreated is no answer. Untreated is not acceptable. Get a mammogram.