• Shanna Graber

    Survivor


    I did it, I fought and won!

    Hi my name is Shanna Graber and here is my story. 

    I first found a lump on the top of my left breast on April 16, 2014. Just before I went to go take a shower that evening, I brushed my shirt off and felt something different. It scare me instantly. First thing I thought of was cancer but as the evening went on I got to thinking that breast cancer doesn’t run in my family so I figured I was ok. To reassure my self I called my family doctor the next day to get the lump looked at to see what it could be. My doctor got me in right away. He thought maybe is was just a cyst and to make sure he sent me to get an ultrasound a few days later. After the ultrasound was done I got a phone call a few days later saying that they want to biopsy the lump because there was some “shadows” in the mass. Let me tell you what, those biopsies are not fun. I had the biopsy on a Wednesday and then next day I get another phone call asking me to come to the doctors office the next day to go over my results. Now, when you get that call, bad thoughts start rolling in. I thought, well maybe he just wants to give me the good new person. Good news is not what I got. “I’m sorry to say this but the tumor is cancer.” WHAT?! CANCER?! My mind just went in circles then. What do I do now? My doctor then referred me to a breast specialist in Toledo. The next few days were a blur then. I got phone call after phone call from the specialist, from hospitals to set up appointments, to scans, and MRIS. Next thing I know it I’m sitting in a bluish green chair at the hospital being hooked up to an IV to get my chemo for the next few hours. Let me tell you something, I would rather sit in that chair for hours and hours, than go through what was next. You have an idea of what you might “feel” like after chemo but you don’t really know. 

    The last few months was hell. From feeling ok, to running back and forth to the bathroom, to taking several medications, to a few ER visits, SEVERAL tears and melt downs, to sleeping all day long. I could go on and on. It was not fun! I had a total of 6 rounds of chemo. I did lose my hair and now part of my eye brows but my hair has started to come back. At my last visit with my oncologist she was very pleased with my results that she highly believes that I won’t need any thing after my surgery. 

    After my second chemo treatment my tumor wasn’t even really there any more. You couldn’t feel it at all. I then met with my specialist to talk about surgery. I had a double mastectomy with reconstruction. I had the other side done right away because I’m gene positive for BRAC1. 

    So on October 13, 2014, I had my surgery. It went really well and March I had the reconstruction part. There was less than 1% of the cancer left when they did my surgery. The chemo really did its job. It has been a long and tiring process through this whole thing. Believe me I wanted to quit so many time but I know I couldn’t. I kept my head high and a bathroom close. I have so much to live and look forward to that I didn’t let this get me down. So now I wait and keep going to my doctor appointments. I had to have herceptin till May but I’m so thankful that this drug doesn’t make you sick like the chemo did. But I’m happy to say that I kicked cancers butt!

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