Wendy Diagnosed at 36

"Let me tell you this, if you've never experienced anything dramatic health wise like cancer then the best way to fight it is with God and a strong support system and I was and am blessed to have both of them."

Most gracious father we are thanking you for today and I ask now that something I say may be helpful to someone gathered here.  In the name of Jesus…….Amen. First, give an honor to God as being in control of my life. Thank you so much for allowing me to share my story.  Wouldn’t it be safe to say that normally women wait until they’re 40 to have a mammogram? Well if I had waited until I was 40 then I couldn’t get in until December and I probably wouldn’t be here. 

My journey with breast cancer began when I was on vacation in 2012 trying on bathing suits.  I noticed two small knots in my right breast but since I was on vacation I wasn’t going to worry my friends about it.  I did say to myself that if they are there when I get back II will go to go to the doctor. It’s always been habit for me to do self-checks on myself due to my mom being a breast cancer survivor.  When I returned from vacation, the knots were still there so I scheduled an appointment for a mammogram.  

During the mammogram they couldn’t find the lumps so they tried an ultrasound and they showed up.  I had to have a biopsy done on June 6 and on June 8 I got the phone call saying I had breast cancer.  I immediately broke down at work and called my mom.  The only thing I could think was am I going to die? I didn’t want something like this to end my life.  I thought my mom would feel sorry for me and baby me since she’s gone through this already.  Well, I was wrong because not only did she not feel sorry for me, she cut me off from my pity party by saying, "look Wendy, you don’t even know what your situation is, but I do know that you are going to have to get yourself together and whatever we face you know God is on our side and you have to believe."  If you know my momma then you know she meant business by this. 

I met with Dr. Hagan on June 15 to discuss my options and he informed me that my best course was to have a double mastectomy because of family history.  I had no problems with them taking both breasts because I knew I could get some new ones.  We're trying to schedule my surgery but before we could finalize it I had to make sure it wouldn’t interrupt with me going to see a New Edition in concert (lol).  He assured me it wouldn’t, so on Tuesday June 26 I had my double mastectomy and went to the concert that Sunday.  On November 16 I had reconstruction surgery to replace my breast.  Shortly after that I met with Dr. Nair to discuss treatment options and was blessed to not have to go through chemo or radiation.  I did hormone treatments for a year that consisted of Tamoxifen daily by mouth and a Zolodex injection in the stomach every 3 months.  I’ve never experienced pain like that stomach injection before.  

The last time I was supposed to get the shot Dr. Nair reported that I could do away with the hormone treatments since my body had responded well. Thank God. Let me tell you this, if you’ve never experienced anything dramatic health wise like cancer then the best way to fight it is with God and a strong support system and I was and am blessed to have both of them.  We have an idea about how one is “supposed” to look after battling cancer but do we really know how they feel?  After that first year it was hard to tell I had been through anything because I kept busy but inside I was depressed daily and worried about it coming back or what if they missed some spots on my scans.  Finally I told myself that I was going to continue to fight and beat cancer’s ass.

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