At the age of 60, everything was pretty much perfect. I have been married
for 39 years to my high school sweetheart, have two wonderful daughters
and two sons-in-law, and a granddaughter, all living close by. I teach
third grade at Limestone Creek Elementary in Jupiter, which I love. In
addition to all of this, my husband and I just opened our second craft
beer bar/restaurant locally, which we are very excited about.
During the last few days in April of this year, I discovered a lump in
my right breast. I have no history of breast cancer in my family, and
I never miss a doctor’s appointment or test, so finding it was surprising
to me. I immediately went to my doctor and had all the necessary tests,
including mammograms, ultrasounds, and a biopsy. On May 9th, at the end of the school day while finishing up in my classroom, I got
the call that the biopsy showed that I had cancer. From that moment on,
I was on a mission to find out more and figure out what to do next. I
spent the next day researching, getting referrals, asking questions and
calling doctors. The next three weeks were busy with doctors’ appointments,
tests, and procedures with chemotherapy starting on May 31. This was the
last day of school and I was heartbroken that I had to miss the last three
weeks of school with my students.
I was diagnosed with stage 2, HER2 positive breast cancer, which did not
spread, thankfully. The treatment plan is one year, starting with 18 weeks
of chemotherapy, six sessions every three weeks, along with targeted therapy
drugs for 17 sessions every three weeks. After the six chemo sessions,
I will have surgery followed by radiation treatment.
I am thankful for finding the Margaret W. Niedland Breast Center. I’m
also grateful for the skill and care provided by my team of physicians,
including Dr. Nancy Taft, Dr. Elisabeth McKeen, Dr. Raj Rajpara.
Through all this, I still think that my life is pretty much perfect. I
have had such great support from my family, friends, doctors and medical
staff. I am overwhelmed by the amount of kindness and care I have received
Message to Other Women
Stay positive and motivated to get things done right away, even when life
seems to bring you down. I would describe myself as quiet and shy—someone
who doesn’t really like getting a lot of attention. My diagnosis
brought out a different side of me. I was determined to get answers, the
help I needed, and to get started on a treatment as soon as I possibly could.
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