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Melissa, Iowa

Here's my story.  November 10, 2004 I was at a local clinic having blood work done for my cardiologist.  While walking to the lab I passed by the Katzman Breast Center and the mammography office.  After getting my blood work I stopped in the mammo office and asked if they could "Squeeze me in" so to speak.  The answer was yes. 

The following Monday the clinic called to say they saw something suspicious on the mammogram and I should come in for a repeat mammogram and ultrasound.  I was devastated, I said to myself I am just 41, this is nothing.  A week later, on the 18th of November I trekked back to the same joint, had the mammo and the tech said "Honey, we need to take you to another room."  With my husband in tow we headed to the ultrasound room.  My husband had to wait in the waiting room.  The ultrasound tech was very quiet and concentrated on one spot.  When finished he said, "your doctor will call you in a day or so with your results.  This was Friday.  In tears, I said, "How can you do this to a woman, I have been on pins and needles for over a week. This is not fair."  He left the room and came back to tell me the radiologist would see me. 

When I arrived in the viewing room alone (without) my husband, he gave me the news.  It was not a cyst, but without further biopsy we could not be 100% sure.  Again, I was devastated.  He asked if I needed someone to come get me.  I informed him my husband was in the waiting room - boy was he embarrassed.  When I reached my husband I fell to my knees and sobbed.  5 days later I had a steriotactic biopsy and the day before Thanksgiving confirmed my diagnosis invasive ductal cell carcinoma - poorly differentiated.  Dec 15 I had bilateral mastectomy without reconstruction.  My cancer was 2.0 centimeters and was 14 of 16 lymph nodes, they put me at stage III.  I had a radical on the right and simple on the left.  I have taken my second round of chemo, my hair is gone, I am a tired bitch most of the time, but heck I am entitled.

I still carry my Wonder Woman title as I have 5 children that need love and attention everyday, a really good reason to keep subjecting my self to the agony of chemo.  I have a wonderful husband and a great support group of family and friends.

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