It was April Fool’s Day of 2018, ‘Mrs. Boudreaux you have invasive ductal carcinoma.’
If you have ever had the wind knocked out of you, then you can envision exactly how I felt. My immediate response was, “Okay, I have cancer, what do we do next?” From that day forward, the intense journey began. This journey has taught me how to rely on others, be comfortable with my own body, and realize how much I am loved.
The first thing I would tell anyone is to go to your yearly checkups. My youngest was 8 and I had not been to the doctor since I had her. I was healthy, why do I need yearly checkups? Well…. I found a lump while getting dressed one evening and honestly did not think anything of it. I figured just a fatty cyst.
I am forever thankful for my cousin, who happens to be nurse for an oncologist, who said, ‘You will go tomorrow to get that checked.’ My world became a whirlwind. Starting with a mammogram, ultrasound, lumpectomy, and then the dreaded visit to the oncologist.
I was 38 years old with breast cancer that had spread to my lymph nodes.
That lump I felt was not cancer, it was a lymph node where the cancer had spread. Therefore, I highly recommend early detection and that starts with that yearly checkup. I am eternally thankful for the support system I had, and continue to have, every single day. Cancer was only detected on the right side. I opted for both breasts to be removed with DIEP reconstruction.
Every winning season is dedicated to the coach and support staff. Well, I had the best. Coach of the year goes to Dr. Wall with Memorial Hospital. She has held my hand and guided me for the past two years to the point where now I am in recovery. Dr. Wall consulted with several other Memorial surgeons throughout my cancer treatment to make sure I was receiving the upmost quality care. My support staff consisted of my family, who I am blessed to say, I have the finest. I am now proud to wear the badge of cancer survivor but my doctors and family wear it too.
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