Breast Cancer and Low Cut Dresses

This survivor’s breast cancer came at a particularly inconvenient time–a few weeks before her son’s wedding. It didn’t hold her back at all….

IN HER OWN WORDS: 16 years ago, I felt a lump in my breast. I did my mammograms religiously every year. I went to my GYN doctor who thought it could be cancerous based on the test he did but he was not sure. He sent me to a great surgeon who further did the necessary test which went to the lab. Later that evening I got a call from my surgeon who said the results came back positive.

When I heard the words that I had breast cancer, it took me about a few hours to wrap it around my head. I then thought to myself, “Ok, it is what it is, I cannot change it so we should go to the next step” The lumpectomy was performed a few days later and then it was found that I was in stage 2. I went on Tamoxifen for 5 yrs. and l had 33 rounds of radiation.

During this time of surgical treatment, it became time for me to have my lymph nodes removed and tested but all the surgery was a few weeks before my son’s wedding. I asked Dr. Kehoe if he could delay the surgery until after the wedding, and he replied “Don’t you think you can do both, have the surgery and dance at the wedding?” We both had a good laugh and then quickly did the surgery. I had a drain in for a few days and went to work anyway against my surgeon’s advice. He asked, “What am I going to do with you?”

I went to the wedding in a low cut dress after the drain was removed and I had a blast. I wasn’t going to let the surgery slow me down. I danced my heart out.

Breast cancer does not have to be a death sentence. Early detection is the key. Be mindful of the changes in your body at all times and do not be afraid of your doctor.

I celebrated my 16th year in July. For 15 years I have been a Pacesetter for the American Cancer Society, fighting to give women and men more birthdays. Talking to women about this dreadful disease and the awareness of it has become my passion. I do have some ladies who tell me they don’t want to know. The truth is, you do want to know. I do look forward to the breast cancer walks every year when I am part of the team of survivors which continues to grow. The great turn out of men and young people who help support us with the fight is remarkable.

The fight is not an easy one but a positive one.