From Oma -
It had been two years since I had a mammogram. I knew it was two years too long, but I was busy and didn’t really think much about it. That is, before I noticed a bloody discharge from my right nipple. That was the “call to action,” and I went straight to the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Imaging Center for a mammogram.
After that, I got the call: “Please come back to the center for more tests.” Though I was nervous, I also was happy to have met the Director of the Breast Imaging Center, who is now a very dear friend. I needed a friend at that moment when I was encouraged to see a breast surgeon.
Though she referred me to the best, I decided to first call my doctors in Los Angeles after a copy of the mammogram was sent to their office. The doctor was on vacation and unable to view the results of my mammogram. Then I learned he retired without warning and my report was thrown away. Imagine being indifferent about the potential of breast cancer!
I decided to search for another surgeon near the Breast Center – the best thing I could have done at that moment!
However, I needed to talk with my son about my diagnosis. He was quiet and couldn’t say a word for several seconds. But he wanted to be with me when I met the breast surgeon. I was relieved when the surgeon scheduled surgery, but it felt like a lifetime away! To make my experience even more profound, it was scheduled on my birthday. After the surgery, I was promised a special birthday cupcake – which I didn’t get—but I will hold my surgeon to his promise!
I’m lucky to have an encouraging family. I thought I was the only one in the family to get breast cancer, but as I explained my feelings about the diagnosis, I found that my cousin, aunt, and others had gone through this. My family is private about these things, but my experience helped bring out the truth – a truth that was actually therapeutic. I think my family and I have come to realize there is no shame in breast cancer.
Of course I was referred to an oncologist, and the regimen of chemo and specialized medication began.
I can safely say that after 6 years, I’m cancer free, and grateful for the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Imaging Center, my local physicians and Terry from the Breast Imaging Center - who was very supportive during my treatment. Thank goodness for great healthcare near my home!