My story begins in the fall of 2012, when I was 37 years old. I was in my 15th year as a high school band director, had a 3 year old daughter, and was trying to get pregnant with our second child. I began having severe pain in my left breast and, after a month or so of waiting to see if it cleared up with my menstrual cycle, I discovered a hard knot. My OB/GYN ordered a mammogram which was inconclusive due to dense breast tissue (common for younger women). Thankfully, she was insistent that I get an ultrasound. It showed 2 masses in my left breast and swelling of my lymph nodes under that arm. After biopsies of all 3 areas, I got the dreaded call- all 3 were positive for breast cancer!
My life prior to my diagnosis with HR+ breast cancer with bone metastasis became the first steps in a long and difficult life's journey. My education stressed communications and probably defines one of my strongest attributes. My ability to digest and incorporate hordes of information has helped me to both navigate the incredibly difficult terrain I found myself on and arrive at the help I needed using the quickest route possible. Not only medical but includes financial, professional, and personal. Ask me any question you want about my experience related to MBC and I am happy to share, even very intimate information if it can help someone else. My feeling in this matter: it's incumbent upon me to share of myself because no one else understands quite like others afflicted with similar diagnosis. Also, our support circles now need to expand to include fast new friends, including virtual friends through online support groups. These people have become integral to finding inner peace and integrating them into my world, I would argue, helps improve our quality of life.
In April of 2015, I found myself alone and waiting in a sterile exam room for the results of a breast biopsy. I had found two lumps in my right breast, but the doctor assured me that a person of my age, and with no history of breast cancer in the family, the masses were not likely to be cancerous.