PatFul's Journey with Breast Cancer

Survivor: Breast Cancer

Patient Info: Finished active treatment more than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: almost 34 years ago, Female, Age: 77, Stage 0, HER2 Positive: Don't Know, ER Positive: Don't Know, PR Positive: Don't Know

  1. 1
    • PatFul
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    In April 1983, I discovered a lump in the right breast. I immediately went to a doctor for an examination. He ordered an immediate biopsy, which showed a tumor. In a matter of just a few days, I was coping with the immediate prospect of having a breast removed. I was a single mom, supporting three daughters, teaching college English classes and hosting a weekend radio talk show. I was overwhelmed with decisions I had to make in a short period of time.

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  2. 2
    • PatFul
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    PatFul's Avatar

    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I was fortunate to have a doctor who answered my questions, who treated me as a significant person (rather than as a work unit in his busy life). He showed me the box of tissues on his desk, saying, "I let my male patients cry once a day and I let my female patients cry twice a day." I encourage any woman going through the preparation for surgery to ask lots of questions. Don't apologize for this because it is your body that is about to undergo change. I had been a person who felt "in charge" of her life, who did for others rather than having others do things for her. During the pre-surgery and post-surgery period I had to learn how to let other people help me meet my needs. This surgery brought about a change in my perspective on life. I learned to take one day at a time, glean all the enjoyment I could out of each day, and not try to look ahead farther than what I needed to do for the immediate future.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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