If I could go back in time, what would I tell my 24 year old self? ~ Part 1M
"NOT to make the biggest mistake of your life... To love & except yourself the way you are. There is true power in pure deep self~love." This photo of me before breast implants.
So my story begins of finding the inner me....
After breast feeding my 3 children, I decided to get saline breast implants. I had them placed under my muscle and remember waking up to a blow torch burning my chest! My mom & dad hired a lady for a month to help me out, as I could not do any chores or lift any of my kids.
I remember getting my first experience with pneumonia, just shortly after they were placed in me.
I always felt tired throughout the years and thought maybe its just the normal, as I did raise 3 children all close in age! I was sick a lot...colds after colds and then came another bout of pneumonia when I was in my early 30's!
Fast forward to 2010 and I’m 40 years old and I find a lump on my right breast, that felt like a octopus tentacles. I saw my surgeon and told him my lump hurt. He said to me, "cancer doesn't hurt and its not cancer.” He told me, to come back in 3 months and he would just remove it! In the meantime, I went for my mammogram which burst my tumor that day! Believe me, felt it!
The day of my lumpectomy, I remember telling him, " I can feel another lump beside the original one?" Sure enough, another one grew! Then came the call from the surgeons office to come in and see him? I'll never forget his words to me, as his eyes got teary eyed, and said, "you have breast cancer!" I felt like someone took the wind right out of me!!!! Thankfully my husband was next to me to hold me up....I knew he felt bad and I told him, its okay.
I had to go for a series of testing, to see if the cancer metastasized? Chest x-ray, CT scan, nuclear bone scan, and an injection into my right breast (which felt like a colony of bee's inside my breast!) It was to check for metastasis in my lymphatics.
I was rushed right away into surgery to have a double mastectomy, and I didn’t have any time to really breathe after hearing those words! My surgeon thought it would be safer to take both breasts, as my grandmother & mother both had breast cancer.
The morning of my surgery, my dear girlfriend and some family surrounded me with their love & support. As I was being wheeled down to the operating room, my mom yelled out to me, "Get your army boots on, your going to war!" I held my hand up in the air and saluted her!
“This is how Army Strong began to be.”