By: Deb Doherty
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006. It showed up during my annual mammogram, which I had never missed since turning 40 in 1996. There it was without a doubt. After a second mammogram and an ultrasound, it was confirmed. A lumpectomy revealed that the only tumor that showed up on the mammogram was not alone in that breast. The surgeon found another tumor in my breast tissue that both mammograms and an ultrasound totally missed. I had a decision to make - lumpectomy and radiation or mastectomy. I chose a mastectomy.
My left breast was removed on June 27, 2006. This is the date of my Cancerversary. It’s important to find a date to celebrate life. It may be the date of diagnosis, the end of treatment or, in my case, the date of surgery. I celebrate that day every year! I am alive and I am stronger than ever.
I took Tamoxifen for five years (2006-2011) to prevent recurrence. It blocked the estrogen in my system that was fed my tumors. I also chose not to have reconstruction but to wear a prosthesis. I call her Georgia!! She goes with me everywhere I go – my BFF!! Now, over 10 years later, I am still alive, no trace of cancer and sassy as ever!