Adrienne is an interior stylist known for her optimistic outlook and confidence. She doesn’t want her story to be about pity; she wants this to be a story of hope, success, and a way to spread her positive experience.
In 2021, Adrienne had a clear mammogram. She shares, “My journey started unexpectedly. I chose to go for a breast lift surgery, and at that time, I signed for pathology, which I almost didn’t do. I asked the nurse if I needed to do pathology since I had a clear mammogram last year. At my one-week post-op check, the surgeon told me I had breast cancer. I was extremely shocked because I had been there for elective surgery.”
“My world stopped and shook”
All her surgeon could tell her was that she had a small tumor in her right breast, lobular carcinoma. Quickly after that, she met with an oncologist who laid out two options. She chose to have a bilateral mastectomy for peace of mind and to find the best solutions moving forward. Overall, she wanted to “be a strong mama for as long as I could”.
Part of her journey is that Adrienne’s mom had a different type of breast cancer last year. “I had no idea how many different types of breast cancer there were. She did genetic testing and didn’t carry the gene, and I don’t have it either, which is great because we have three little girls. It’s interesting to know that you can have a different type of cancer as someone that had it in your family, which is even more of a reason to get checked.”
Finding her strength
Adrienne continues, “When you find out, you don’t know what you’re going to do next, or who to talk to, or how to tell people, or when to tell people. My husband was the first person I called, and I reached out to other women that I knew who had experienced breast cancer. They shared advice on a side of breast cancer most people don’t know and the things that were coming next.”
Her friends and the community at large immediately sprang into action, sending meals, flowers and presents. She adds, “Of course, our three little girls gave me strength too. You look at them as their mom and you just push through whatever you need to do. They’re our little angels.”
Choosing care close to home
When Adrienne first found out, she didn’t know what to do. She reached out to different people, who suggested she consider hospitals outside of the area. Her appointments happened quickly, so her heart told her to meet with local doctors.
“The second Brandon and I met Dr. Wall, she hugged us and gave us so much hope, knowledge and education immediately. The moment I met Dr. Mace, there was just a comfort that I felt through him and his team, and we knew were in the right hands. I also have to give a shout-out to my anesthesiologist Dr. Tomajian, who made me feel really comfortable throughout the procedure. I’m lucky to be here with great results.”
Ask questions & seek out early detection
“To the people who feel scared to get their annual mammogram, or if they find a lump, my wish would be for them to ask questions, seek out early detection, and get screened. If I hadn’t taken that test for pathology, I never would have known.” Adrienne was told that her story would have been very different 5 years from now if she hadn’t agreed to the pathology.
“You might be afraid, but just do it. Have someone go with you, and tackle it head on.”
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