On the 18th of August 2013, my dear friend and colleague Pattie Bradfield was teaching me how to Skype. (I know, I know, its 2013 and I’m just learning how to Skype J). Once we finally got Skype up and running and Patti could see me, she noticed something alarming on my chest. I saw that she kept staring at me with a concerned look on her face and she finally said, “What is wrong with your chest.” I replied, “What do you mean,” and she responded by saying, “Your chest is swollen and red.” At that moment, I got up and walked to a mirror and there it was. It was puffy, red and it sat right below my clavicle. My heart nearly stopped! The only thoughts that ran through my head at that exact moment was OMG the cancer has returned!
Determined yet scared, on the 19th of August, 2013, I went to my breast cancer support meeting and afterwards asked the breast cancer navigator, Lori Nuno at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, CA, if she noticed anything strange on my chest. As she was checking my chest out, three other ladies came over to take a look as well and they all verified what my dear friend had discovered. At this point, my palms become sweaty and my head started ache. As I was not trying to show my concern, Lori said that I needed to get to my primary doctor, ASAP. The very next day, I called my primary doctor to move my appointment up due to the discovery, however to my pleasant surprise; Lori had already contacted my primary, Katherine Platt as well as the surgeon, Dr. Cohane at Arrowhead Medical Regional Center and on the 21st of August I was meeting with my surgeon. Lori came with me to my appointment and I thank the havens she did so for the support that she gave me. As the surgeon was checking me out, he did not notice anything, but Lori insisted that I move positions in hopes that the light would reflect on my skin to show the puffiness and redness that everyone saw days before. Nonetheless, with all of our efforts, the surgeon still did not see anything. I was able to breathe a little better but still I wanted a second opinion. On the 22nd of August 2013, I drove an hour and half away from my home to Los Angeles, CA and had a Thermography exam (CRT) with Dr. Cherilyn Lee, PHD. According to Doctor Lee, I had (5) hot spots in my right breast, but the print out did not show cancer. On the 23rd of August I had an appointment with my primary and she also did not see anything and gave me a clean bill of health.
To sum things up, Thank God I am still free from cancer. The moral of this story is you must be proactive and forge relationships with your medical team, join whatever support groups that are available and speak up for yourself. Early detection, even if you have already had cancer can still be a life saver. You never know who is going to move mountains for you when in need. I was extremely impressed by the actions of all of those mentioned above and not mentioned. I’m blessed, for I live to fight another day.
If you want to read more of my stories please check me and my organization out at fighting4thetatas.org and keep referring back to our blog.
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