Treatment: Chemotherapy, Mastectomy
Two days after my 57th birthday, my wife noticed that the nipple on my left breast was dimpled. I contacted the surgeon who had just removed a cyst from my back, and he insisted that I have a biopsy as soon as possible.
A few days after the biopsy, I had a mastectomy of my left breast. The tumor was two and a half centimeters, but was confined to the breast and had not spread to the lymph nodes under my left arm. I had four sessions of chemotherapy over a three-month period, and was put on Tamoxifen. I learned that I carry two mutations of the BRCA2 gene. I also learned that I had passed the mutation on to my 30 year-old daughter, but not to my 20 year-old son.
After three months on Tamoxifen, I asked my oncologist to take me off of it because the side effects were very unpleasant. Because I carry the BRCA2 mutations and wouldn't be taking Tamoxifen (which is a preventive therapy), I opted to have my right breast removed as well.
I am recovering nicely and feel stronger every day. If not for my wife, I would have ignored the whole thing.
Read other survivor stories.
Facts for Life: What is Breast Cancer
Breast Cancer 101
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"I'll do whatever it takes to keep fighting." - Kathleen