“ Let your faith be bigger than your fear.”
Alicia was diagnosed with breast cancer on March 26th, 2014. She has successfully defeated her disease.
“March 26th, 2014. I found my lump on February 13th and had extra mammograms done, an ultrasound then a biopsy from a top breast surgeon. And the results came back positive for breast cancer.”
“So in December of 2013, I had a mammogram done and got an all clear. I see my doctor in the 3rd week of January and everything was good. Then on February 13th, 2014 I was out shoveling snow and I had an asthma attack I came in took my inhaler and I was sweaty so as I was wiping the sweat off me I found a lump larger than the size of a golf ball on my left breast.
I checked my right side and no lump so I knew something was wrong but I just got the all clear recently so how could I have such a large lump? When I had the ultrasound done the radiologist asked where the lump was and I showed her and she said I needed a biopsy and I asked do I have cancer and she said any time we think there’s a 20 to 100% chance its cancer we need to do a biopsy.
She described my lump as an oversized meatball. Really?? Now I can’t look at a meatball the same. So I had the biopsy done on March 25th by the breast surgeon that did not want to wait any longer to have it done. She called me the next day at 6:30 pm and asked was I alone and I said yes, she said she had enough sample and I’m sorry to say that it’s positive for cancer.
I was devastated and I couldn’t believe I had breast cancer. Next thing I know I was scheduled to have a double mastectomy on April 25th and started chemo on June 12th. The surgery was the worst surgery I ever had. I felt like I had an iron bra on. Chemo was rough on me and I had a hard time and I had to go every day to have fluids because I couldn’t eat due to mouth and throat sores. I was so sick but I kept fighting. I decided to shave my head before my hair started to fall out as I had very long hair and I couldn’t have my hair fall out in chunks all over the place. So it was easier on me although I couldn’t look at myself and when I did that’s when it all hit me that I really had breast cancer and I’m fighting for my life.
I was triple positive so I had trastuzumab after my strong chemo with the red devil as my cancer was aggressive stage 2b as cancer spread to my lymph nodes. I finished chemo on November 6th, 2014.”
Motivation to fight cancer
“I have 2 girls that needed me so I fought for them. They were my motivation because they needed their mom.”
“My double mastectomy with reconstruction has been a tough battle as I’m still having more surgeries and my next and hopefully the last one is next month on June 22nd, 2018. I’ve had several surgeries due to complications. I also had to have my ovaries removed. And now I’m on exemestane because my cancer fed off of my estrogen and the side effects are horrible. I now have osteopenia, my teeth are breaking down I had 1 pulled with another 1 need to be pulled and 3 root canals that still need to be done. I also ended up with trigger finger and problems with my left wrist so I had to have surgery last year on my left wrist and thumb. I have severe bone and joint pain. And that’s all side effects of my cancer medication. One thing I didn’t have was a good support system besides the help of my girls.”
Message to other cancer patients
“Stay strong and have a good support system in place so you can have someone to be there for you and help you get through this tough time. It’s not an easy road but it’s worth the fight to save your life. Ask lots of questions and stay off the internet because it will drive you crazy. Trust me, I couldn’t stop looking up things on the internet and I ended up more scared than I needed to be. Even though I had a tough time and still am it’s not as bad as what you find on the internet. Although I joined groups for breast cancer on Facebook and they helped a lot. So I would definitely join some groups if you have a Facebook account. Keep your head up and fight the good fight. You can do it.”