Laura J. Johnson
“You have breast cancer.” I received the telephone call on October 27, 2015, two days after my 50th birthday, from a doctor who I’d never met. Thereafter, I had four surgeries to hopefully save my left breast (lumpectomy, re-excision with sentinel node removal, re-excision, re-excision). However, the margins (breast tissue samples) did not reflect healthy breast tissue. On March 28, 2016, I underwent the removal of my left breast tissue and nipple, with partial breast reconstruction (additional reconstruction surgery to be scheduled later this year). I attended 25 radiation treatments to my chest area and upper back. My last radiation treatment ~ July 15, 2016 ~ is the date I refer to as my “the evidence suggests there is no cancer” anniversary date. It’s been 9 months. Tamoxifen (the wonder drug as my doctor has referred to it ~ FDA approved in 1977) is prescribed and taken daily for the next five years; most likely, Arimidex for the five years thereafter.
This is my condensed version of my diagnosis and medical treatment. Emotionally and physically, I fought the fight during each surgery, pathology results, second opinions, and radiation. Disbelief … tears … and continuing at times.
I am a very fortunate breast cancer survivor. Physically, I bounced back from each surgical procedure and radiation. Emotionally, I am grateful to be alive and to open my eyes each morning and smile. Do I think about a recurrence? Sometimes.
Mere words will never be enough to express my heartfelt gratefulness for the love and support of my family and friends every day.
I walk to live life, to raise awareness, to fund research, and to help others in need of medical, financial and supportive services. I am a breast cancer survivor because of DONATIONS to an awesome worthy cause given by big-hearted people like YOU.
PLEASE join me in the fight against breast cancer. DONATE whatever amount you can. With much love, gratitude and hope ~ Laura