This is my Journey .... I had to come to terms with it before I could even bring myself to talk about it. Some of you may have guessed or wondered about my post regarding breast cancer. I was diagnosed with stage 2b HER 2 breast cancer on 12/17/14. You never can quite be mentally prepared to hear the 3 dreaded words, "You have cancer" ... No matter how much you pray, try to psych yourself up, and think positive. I was devastated. So many things ran through my mind, and I could not get my mind to shut up. I went from shock, to disbelief, to questioning why I have it, and there is no family history of it. I later thought, "Why not me"?
I've had fibro cystic breast for as long as I could remember. I was very developed at the age of 10 years old. Because I was so used to being fortunate enough to have somewhat lumpy breast, I would routinely check to see if I noticed any changes in the sizes of the sometimes pebble sized masses. They would come and go as if they were playing peek-a-boo.
As I got older and pregnant with my son at the age of 35, doctors were becoming concerned with different cysts that turned out to be nothing. I thought I knew my body better than anyone else, and would let them know if I found something that was concerning.
Earlier this summer, I felt what I thought was yet another cyst and dismissed it as just more of the same. I knew I would have my annual checkup and mammogram coming up, so I just waited until that time. November 17, 2014 was the beginning of a barrage of test and life changing events yet to come.
The cancer is only in one breast, but I've opted to go radical and have a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. I never ever want to hear those 3 dreaded words again, and have to go through this process all over again.
Often, I've talked to God and asked him what my purpose in life is. I believe He's answered me by giving me this platform to help other women by encouraging them to not to be dismissive about any changes in their breast like I was, because it could be difference between life and death. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers. #ImASurvivor
Paulette Smith, the owner of DonPaul Enterprises, and a breast cancer survivor since 1999. She developed this portal to support small businesses and individuals who support breast health.
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