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Sarah-53 Years Old

Your Story
My name is Sarah and I am a 53 year young woman. My journey started November 1, 2005 when I went for my yearly mammogram. Nothing eventful, so I thought.

A few days after my mammogram I received a call from my doctor. There were some abnormalities showing up and they needed to do another compressed view. The compressed view showed some calcification. My doctor then made an appointment for me to see a surgical oncologist to discuss these abnormalities and what they meant. At the oncologist he discussed what the calcification meant. I thought calcium in the body was a good thing, which it is. What was unique about calcification in the breast is calcium should pass through the breast and not stop. If calcium shows up in the breast then it's catching on something. In over 90% of the time what the calcification is catching on is something benign. A biopsy would need to be done to determine this.

Since it was coming up on the Christmas holiday I made the decision to wait until after New Years to do the biopsy. They first tried to do a stereo tactic biopsy but because of the location of the abnormalities this could not be done. I was then scheduled for a surgical biopsy on Friday, January 13th. The hardest thing about having a surgical biopsy is waiting for the results.

My doctor called me Wednesday the 18th with the results that I had hoped I would not hear "You have breast cancer". He would see me the next day, but in the meantime if I wanted to come to the office they had a gift for me, which was a Pink Ribbon Bag full of goodies and I could also pick-up my pathology report, which I did.

The report told me what type of breast cancer I had, which was Ductal Carcinoma in-situ (DCSI) breast cancer, which is the most common type of Breast Cancer. With the report in hand I was able to go online and read more about what this diagnosis meant and what treatment plans I would need to explore. Lots of questions for the doctor the next day!

The next day I met with my oncologist who discussed what options I had. I could do a lumpectomy with 30 rounds of radiation, or I could do a mastectomy with no radiation. Did I want to do reconstruction, and if so did I want to do an implant or did I want to do a Tram Flap reconstruction? Did I want to do immediate reconstruction or wait? I needed to make a decision, but would have a couple of weeks to do so. Lots of questions, how do you decide! That was the question I asked my doctor, how do I make the right decision? He said talk to other women who had had breast cancer, do research, but most important pray about it. God will give you the answer.

I asked the Lord to please help me. How true this is. If you put your faith in the Lord he will answer those questions for you. It just so happened that the same day I met with my oncologist later that day I had my Bible Study group. No this didn't just so happen, it was God's plan. This Bible Study group is an inter-faith group from many churches in my area. Some of the members of the Bible Study are members of my church and had already heard about my diagnosis. While waiting for the Bible Study to begin this woman came in that I had never seen at the Bible Study before. The woman's name was Shelly. One of the leaders said to Shelly "We have missed you so much" which Shelly's reply was "I woke up this morning and God laid it on my heart to be here, don't know why, but I'm here". Several of the women in the group that attend my church smiled, looked up, and mouthed "Thank you Lord". I didn't understand what the big deal was about Shelly.

The Bible Study began and Shelly and I ended up sitting next to each other at the table. God really does plan. The Pink Ribbon Bag I mentioned earlier had a Day Planner in it, which I had sitting on the table in front of me. Shelly leaned over and whispered, "Are you a Breast Cancer survivor?" I told her no, I had just found out I had Breast Cancer. Image my surprise when Shelly said I had Breast Cancer, can we talk.

After the meeting we did and to my surprise Shelly had the same doctor. Is God not awesome! He was already helping me answer questions before I even knew the questions. Shelly ended up not being the only women that God put in my path during those couple of weeks. I was beginning to think I had a sign on me that said, "I have Breast Cancer, please help me decide what to do". There was the sales clerk who had breast cancer, a women who called me that didn't know me but had heard about me through a prayer chain request, the list goes on and on. I referred to all of them as my Breast Cancer angels.

My doctor was right; God would give me the answer I needed. God also gave me answers before I knew I even had a question. The Saturday night before my surgery there was a Walking in Faith event at the church that I attend. At the end of the service anyone that had a need was invited to come forward. I had a need. I had Breast Cancer. When I went forward one of the visiting evangelist, along with my sisters from Bible Study, laid hands on me and the evangelist prayed that my body would be healed and rid of any signs of arthritis. I was confused, and some of my sisters even questioned why, but knew there had to be an answer to why he prayed a prayer like that. Well I got my answer several weeks later after my operations when I went to the medical oncologist. I would be taking medication for the next five years and one of the main side effects is arthritis like symptoms in your joints. I had to smile. Of course he would not have prayed for the cancer to be out of my body because at Bible Study My Sisters prayed over me for that healing and that was already taken care of.

Because I listened to God's directions though the many women who came in my path during my decision-making I made the right decision on the type of surgery I needed. I ended up having a mastectomy with the Tram Flap reconstruction and am pleased with the outcome. As it turned out I had to do radiation because the cancer had gone to the edge of the margin of the chest wall. I knew, though, through it all with God's help I would be okay.

Many of the passages in the book of Psalms reminded me of God's love and gave me the strength that would carry me through this journey. Many of the passages that gave me strength are Psalm 27:1, Psalm 46:1-3, Psalm 48:14, Psalm 1:2,4,5,11,12,14-16, Psalm 118:17, Psalms 119:71.
Age at Diagnosis
41 or Above
Year Initially Diagnosed
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How Cancer was Found
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Stage at Diagnosis
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Type of Breast Cancer
DCIS
Surgery
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Lymph Node Involvement
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Lymph Node Dissection Type
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Radiation Therapy
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Chemotherapy
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Hormone Therapy
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Oopherectomy
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Current Disease Status
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Clinical Trial Participation
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Treatment-Induced Menopause
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Breast Reconstruction
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Lymphodema
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Physical Therapy
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Her2 Status
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Hormone Status
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Genetic Counseling
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BRCA1/2
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