I am 53 years old, married with one daughter and I am the owner of Roberts
AV Solutions. I enjoy biking, swimming, yoga and golf. I love being outdoors,
whether it be the ocean or out riding my bike on trails.
Age at Diagnosis: 52
I was at my yearly mammogram appointment June 2019 at Margaret Niedland
Breast Center at Jupiter Medical Center and I had to do ultrasound too,
because I have dense breasts. I was waiting for my results and the Dr.
came out and said we need to do a biopsy in your right breast. I said
is it a cyst? She said no it is not a cyst, my heart sank.
That weekend I was a wreck, the following week I had the biopsy and then
had to wait 24 hrs to find out the results. When the Dr. called and said
it was cancer, but it is treatable, all I could hear where the words cancer.
I have lost my father and family members to this horrible disease, how
could this be happening to me. I remember my Aunt and cousin going through
breast cancer and now me.
I went to see Dr Nancy Taft, she told me I had Stage 2 Invasive Ductal
Carcinoma and I would need a lumpectomy, Dr Taft and her staff explained
and answered all of my questions and were very compassionate, I knew I
was in good hands. The next month was filled with appointments of biopsy
with markers, MRI and then they found in my left breast a papiloma lesion
which would have to be removed because it could become cancerous.
My surgery was in August and I was scared, but as soon as I got to JMC
and Dr. Taft explained how everything was going to be alright, I felt
confident. When the surgery was over, she told me they only had to remove
one lymph node which was not cancerous. The tumor was not as big and I
really was only Stage 1 and I would need 4 weeks of radiation. Thank God no Chemo.
My Oncologist suggested I take the blood test to see if I was a carrier
for the BRCA gene, I did and it came back negative. I had radiation every
day for 4 weeks, it was scary and made me tired. After radiation was complete
I had to start taking Tamoxafin an estrogen blocker that is to be taken
for the next 5 years so that the cancer does not reoccur. The side effects
were not good. My joints started to lock up and as a result I got frozen
shoulders. This is very painful and requires physical therapy. My oncologist
switched my meds. I had my required mammogram after 8 months from treatment.
I had to delay because of frozen shoulder and a week before my scheduled
appointment I broke a rib. I was determined to still have this mammogram,
I did it with frozen shoulder and a broken rib and it came back cancer free.
It will be a year this October that I will be cancer free, but I am still
pushing through with the side effects, hot flashes, night sweats, frozen
shoulders and physical therapy now for 9 months. I still can’t do
the things I love to do like yoga and golfing, but I am determined to
heal and one day do those things again.
Message for other women: My message is to never skip a mammogram! I am
proof that in just one year you never know what can happen. If I had waited
another year my results would not have been that great. Do not put on
hold that mammogram. Make sure you go every year, your life depends upon it.
Theme of my chair
At times I feel guilty talking about my journey because I know there are
so many cancer patients who had to go through so much more, but I know
everyone’s journey is different.
I did find the support groups at JMC for breast cancer to help me get through
it and ask others questions and support other women too.
I feel that what got me through this journey, was being in the outdoors
around nature and going on trips in our RV camping to different places.
I found peace being surrounded by the beauty of the mountains and the
lakes. Sitting by the campfire and looking at the stars at night, the
little things you never take the time to do. You look at life differently
after cancer, it makes you see things in a whole new way. I am grateful
for the support of my husband of 30yrs who took care of me, my daughter
and my family and friends. I cherish every minute I have with them now.
EVO Italian Restaurant
150 US-1 S
Tequesta, FL 33469