In October 1993, I felt a large mass in my right breast. I went to my family doctor who ordered a mammogram and ultrasound. The doctor that did the testing said that the mass was not showing a definitive shape. She sent me for a biopsy which confirmed stage 3A cancer. Due to the size of the mass, 6 cm, I had a Modified Radical Mastectomy in November 1993. My Oncologist recommended a bone marrow transplant because of the number of lymph nodes that tested positive. At that time insurance would not cover the cost, so I did not have it.
Within a month my doctor started 14 very aggressive chemotherapy treatments during which time I needed two platelet transfusions. This was followed by CMF along with radiation treatments that caused me to be hospitalized for radiation burn.
Through it all my faith in God, prayer, music and a lot of humor along with an unbelievable support system got me through four hospitalizations and all treatments by July 1994.
My goal was to be done with all treatments and feeling strong enough to travel to South Carolina for the wedding of my best friend's daughter. Thankfully, I met that goal!
My cancer was not detected by mammograms or ultrasounds. Most cancers are caught through screening and tests but mine was one of the rare ones that was not. I was aware of changes in my body which resulted in a positive outcome. These screenings and tests are extremely important but you still need to listen to your body.
Edna TurnerSurvivor 17 yearsCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun