Christine’s Story

I am a happily married, 48 year old, school district employee for 23 years with four children, a cat and a dog! Right before my 48th birthday I went for my annual exam. This year was not like the others though…the doctor had a puzzled and concerned look on her face and said I want you to have a diagnostic mammogram this time because I feel some thickening. She had me feel as well but I had felt that many other times and previous mammograms resulted in benign findings.

A few days later I went for the mammo and was asked to stay for an ultrasound and then was asked to stay for an MRI and finally was asked to stay for a biopsy..all in the same visit! The Dr. doing the biopsy said I can tell you you have breast cancer but I won’t know what kind for about a week until these results come back.When the results came back I was asked to come in to go over my results and was unable to because I was at work. So, the results were shared with me over the phone…my world just stopped. It was at a standstill! My diagnosis was invasive ductal carcinoma in situ- DCIS and I needed to schedule an appointment with a surgeon ASAP. All within a matter of 2 months I had a partial mastectomy and then a re-excision. This week I start seed radiation and have started seeing the oncologist. Genetic testing was negative but is prevalent on my mom’s side of the family—all the same kind—hormone fed? I have lots of testing going on now to make sure that this cancer stays put and doesn’t take a vacation anywhere else in my body!

Everyone needs a support person outside of family, someone else who has shared in this experience.

I never really understood the bond between other women that have also been diagnosed, but now I do. One friend had a mastectomy a week or two before me and another a partial mastectomy a week of two after me…all around the same age as me. Everyone needs a support person outside of family, someone else who has shared in this experience. When I was diagnosed with this breast cancer, I was spiritually guided to become a support person for others. My goal is now to give that support to others that have recently been diagnosed. I feel like that is my calling in life now, to be that crutch, to put a smile on other’s faces and to be someone’s personal cheerleader! For me, yes, I have been a roller coaster of emotions and will continue to be that way until this is over- if it even ever is. I need to put a smile on my face and tell others it’s going to be “okay” and that I am here to help them! That is my way of coping and having peace at such a chaotic time in my life! ~ Christine

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