I’m a 46 year old, mother of two grown sons, step-mom to a grown son and grown daughter – now one of three mom’s to little Zoey, grandmother of two little girls and one little boy and partner to my wonderful girlfriend Telle. I live in Chicago and work for a small town, single practitioner doctor’s office. I love my job, really enjoy being in the city and try to enjoy my time here as much as possible. I have a fantastic family, crazy, spread across the USA and the most loving group of people anyone could ever dream of being related to.
I found a lump in my right breast late February after recently freaking out about a lump in my left breast the year before, that turned out to be a simple cyst. I ignored it for a few weeks assuming that once my hormones calmed down that month that it would go away, just like the other cysts had before. When it didn’t go away I finally became concerned and had an ultrasound in our office just to ease my mind. When I heard them say, I’m sorry that isn’t a cyst but actually a mass I felt my stomach shrivel up and my heart sink…but managed to keep a calm attitude and follow through with what would need to be done to get it checked out.
Now I didn’t have insurance as I work for such a small practice and like a whole lot of other people just couldn’t afford insurance on my own. Illinois does have a fantastic program, Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening for women over 40 that are uninsured or under-insured. I immediately called and set up an appointment to get it checked out.
I had my appointment, got my order for a mammogram and it of course it came back abnormal. An ultrasound guided biopsy was ordered next and my diagnosis came from my boss, physician and friend that my lump was actually malignant. I have since been placed on emergency medicaid (thank goodness for the fantastic program we have here in Illinois for women like me that find themselves in this position). I have met with my Oncologist, Geneticist (because I was under 50, the chances of it being genetic are much higher) and my Surgeon. I have had the unique pleasure of having my physician by my side at my appointments along with my partner giving me the strength I have so needed to go through this with a positive attitude.
After many tests, X-Rays, MRI's PET's CT's I am triple negative, T2N3M0 Stage 3B Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. I have started 8 weeks of Chemotherapy, surgery and radiation to follow. I know not what the future holds for me but I am walking forward one step at a time with my head held up. I have a zest for life and I'm going to grab on with both hands. - Kelly
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