in stride with pride

I have had a lot of difficult things to do in my life. At the top of the list was dealing with breast cancer. Unlike a lot of women, I had no idea of my family history regarding this disease. I was adopted from birth and the courts sealed all of my records. The only information I could get was of non identifying origin and that did not include any medical information.

For the bulk of my life I had pretty good health. The only thing I dealt with regularly was anemia. Other than that I was in good shape. That was until on a morning in July of 2007 I felt the lump in my right breast. There was a large part of me that was hoping it was only another cyst. But that was not to be.

After extensive tests and a biopsy, I underwent a complete mastectomy with reconstructive surgery done all at the same time. I ended up on the table for 10 hours in all. they had to stop because I was anemic. They gave me two units of blood before completing the reconstructive phase of my surgery.

When I woke up in my room. I remember the intense pain as well as the pressure. It felt like I had an eighteen wheeler parked on the right side of my chest. It took all of my strength and a secret helping from up above to get me moving. I was up that morning after my surgery before breakfast. My doctor was impressed. She had no idea how long it took me to get up that day. It took me more than an hour.

I have learned to temper my pride surrounding my survival from breast cancer. While I am proud of how I survived,I am extremely grateful that I have not had another visit from Cancer. These emotions keep me in stride with my pride!