Her 2 + Breast Cancer Survivor Shares Her Journey

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“I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me”

Brenda was diagnosed with Her 2 + Breast Cancer in July 2016. She has successfully defeated her disease. She is full of positive vibes and loves food.

The Diagnosis

“I was diagnosed with Her 2 + Breast Cancer on my left breast in July 2016. I found the lump when my hand just brushed across my breast by accident. It was a Friday night, so I had to wait until the Monday morning to call my doctor. Then I had to wait a week before I got my appointment for a mammogram.

The day of the mammogram I was alone; after taking several views of the breast, I waited in a waiting room for the radiologist to read them. The tech came back after a few minutes and told me they needed to perform an ultrasound. I was very nervous at this point. During the ultrasound, the tech was very quiet. I could almost feel what she was thinking. Once she was done, I was told to stay in the room so the radiologist can come and talk to me. The Dr came in and told me there was some calcifications and wanted me to have a biopsy. My appointment was set up for a needle biopsy the next day.

That morning my husband took me to my appointment. I met with my breast surgeon, and a needle biopsy was done on the lump on the breast, she took five samples from the lump. I was numb but I could feel the pressure. Samples were also taken from a swollen lymph node under my arm. It felt like an hour of her poking into me with that needle. Once the surgeon was done; she told me she was worried it might be cancer. But will wait to hear from the lab for pathology results. She left the office, and I just started crying, I was so afraid. My husband did his best to console me. I remember the medical assistant came into the room after I got dressed; she was so kind. And told me not to worry, that the surgeon is very good.

Six days later, the breast surgeon called me on the phone to confirm that the pathology results confirmed it was breast cancer. I was home alone when that call came in, I cried again. What was happening to me?”

The Journey

“It was almost a month after diagnosis that I started chemotherapy. Chemo was very difficult for me, both physically and emotionally; the side effects were like nothing I’d been through before in my life. I was prescribed 6 rounds of chemo every three weeks for a total

of 4 months. And one year of Herceptin.

After my first chemo treatment, I started to lose my hair, it was then I really felt like I was a cancer patient. I shaved my head, I was now bald. Many days I was so weak I could hardly move. The fatigue was enormous. I had lost about 20 lbs, from the stress of the experience as well as not being able to eat from side effects of the chemo…After I was finished with chemo, I had a lumpectomy performed one month later; pathology results showed no residual cancer! The chemo had done its job, praise God! And one month after that, six weeks of radiation therapy. All the treatments and surgery by this time had me wore out physically and emotionally but I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Motivation to fight cancer

“What motivated me to fight was life itself. I was not done the living. My two sons, my two granddaughters. Life was beautiful and it was precious and I was not ready to let go. I wanted to live and I was not going to let cancer win. My faith in God kept me strong and assured me, I had more life to live. This was just a bump in the road of my life, it was not the end of the road. ”

Biggest hindrance

“The biggest hindrance was that when I was so weak from the side effects of treatment, I could not cook for myself. Nutrition was a concern. Though my husband tried, most of the time he was at work. It was a very difficult time as there was no other help. But by the grace of God, I managed.”

Message to other cancer patients

“Never give up, though your journey through cancer may be difficult, remain strong. Life is precious, be grateful, smile, laugh. Go for short walks when you’re able. Listen to relaxing music, do whatever will help you to take your mind off cancer. Stay positive. Rely on your

family’s love. The love of God. All these things will help to ease your fears.”

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