Treatment: Double Mastectomy, Chemotherapy
My mother died in 2001 from Inflammatory Breast Cancer. Ever since then I've been on high alert, knowing that it would be a matter of time until I would get cancer, not if I would get breast cancer.
August 11th, 2009, I found the lump. My doctor was on vacation, so his nurse and I started the tests we knew he would want done. Our thinking was we'd have the results by the time he got back. August 13th I had the biopsy, and August 18th (the day before my 45th birthday) my doctor called me and told me, "I'm sorry Julie but its cancer!” August 24th I had a bilateral mastectomy. October I started chemotherapy. Through all of this my husband, John, of just 2 1/2 years of marriage, was by my side.
Two days after my second chemo treatment, he died at the age of 46 from a massive heart attack at home with me and my 16 year old son doing CPR to no avail. So now I was planning a funeral and going through chemo treatments. The night of his wake, I shaved my head because I couldn’t take having the clumps of hair falling out in front of everyone. I made it through the funeral. I made it through the last two chemo treatments. Now it is a year later and I was given a clean bill of health!
My 14 year old daughter wrote a poem about me titled "The Brave One" and my 18 year old college student wrote his first speech about me, entitled "The most significant person in my life.” Both of them told the story of courage and bravery, inspired by how they had seen me deal with cancer and death. Little do they know, they were also writing about themselves. Everything that I went through, so did they. My four children are my rock, they are the reason I fight.
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