Keeping Abreast of the Situation: Early Detection is Key in Breast Cancer Battle
Style News Wire | 6/12/2008, 4:42 p.m.
I remember when I first felt the small lump near my armpit. It was August 2006. Initially, I dismissed it as a swollen lymph node as a result of a sinus infection. As the weeks went on, the lump was still there but several people told me I was “being dramatic” and that it was just a cyst or fatty tumor.
Fast forward to April 2007. I was a very happy newlywed who had just settled into a new home in a new city. Now armed with health insurance, my husband highly suggested I go to the doctor to have the lump examined since I was becoming more preoccupied with it.
My grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003 at the age of 80. Looking back, I think at some subconscious level that fear kept me from going to the doctor sooner.
Within four days of that first office visit, my life changed drastically. The biopsy confirmed that the tumor was malignant. I was devastated and in shock for the first few days. At thirty five years old, a successful entrepreneur and happy newlywed, I was not above cancer.
I had a lumpectomy and axillary lymph node dissection on May 10th, 2007. The recovery is physically and emotionally painful. As the scar healed and the drainage tube was removed, I got a little stronger each day. The surgeon who treated me removed 23 lymph nodes and 16 of those tested positive for cancer.
My future holds radiation and/or chemotherapy. It will take a lot of faith, courage and strength to win this battle. My only regret is waiting eight months to go to the doctor. Early detection could have prevented the spread to the lymph nodes. Early detection can save lives.
Houston Style Magazine echoes the need for early detection for Breast Cancer as a preventative measure. Crystal Brown-Tatum valiant and continuing battle drives home the point of early detection in stark and real terms. We hope all Houston Style Magazine female readers take heed and get themselves screened.