resqme, Inc. is a firm believer in safety both on and off the road. Breast cancer awareness and education, especially for the month of October, is a cause close to our hearts. We’d like to share Eldine’s story after she was diagnosed with breast cancer and how she addressed it and hope it will educate women and men about breast health and the importance of early detection. Eldine has been a Family Practitioner for nearly 20 years specializing in comprehensive health care and lives in Hacienda Heights, CA. She is married and has two children. Eldine tells her story regarding breast cancer in her own words.
“I was excited to be 60 years old and feeling strong and in ‘good health.’ I had gotten hooked into hiking and loved it. I am not a very compliant patient and not into regular health maintenance even though I have a strong family history of breast cancer. My previous mammogram was normal 18 months prior so I had been confident about my health. When I had my mammogram in May 2012 the result was not a surprise, but something I did not want to have. The radiologist was very nice to me and did further mammogram views and an ultrasound that same day. I also had a biopsy that same day- sometimes you get special treatment if you are a doctor!
After the Diagnosis
I kept the news from my husband because I wanted to tell it to him personally. I did share the diagnosis to my two sisters first because I knew they wold be able to understand my feelings as they too had been diagnosed with breast cancer. I was not scared to die, I did not want to – but I figured my children are old enough and I know they will survive on their own. I am happy with my life and career that if life ended that soon I am fulfilled. I told my children not to change their plans in life – like marrying sooner. I will not miss anything that I have not met – meaning future grandchildren.
The next few days went by in a blur. I kept the news to my immediate family. I did not want friends to ask me a lot of questions and I hated repeating the story. I told a few close friends the night before my surgery. For treatment, I opted for a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction for these reasons: I did not want to worry about the other breast and I did not want to be ‘lopsided.’ Today, I am very happy with my decision. I strongly recommend reconstruction–boosts your confidence!
I am one of the fortunate ones who did not need chemotherapy and /or radiation. I am taking an oral medication for the next five years. My recovery went well, but I believe it was because I was also physically fit before my surgery.
Support and Advice
Going through this experience was easy because of my support group. My husband who did not worry about my appearance, but continued to tell me I am pretty. My two children were shaken with the diagnosis and especially my daughter because she can get it too, but they treated me well like I wasn’t sick. Prayers from my families, friends, church and patients were overwhelming. I accepted prayers from anyone no matter what their religious convictions were. That was very enlightening to me! I learned life is fragile and should be cherished. The experience helped me better understand my patients too and I can tell them what I went through.
My advice to everyone is to choose a healthy life style, follow regular health maintenance and stay positive. I thought of having a tattoo about my cancer, but when I was told I was free of the disease I did not need any permanent reminder. I am thankful daily that I am well.
We’d like to thank Eldine for sharing her story and hope our readers educate themselves on breast health. To learn more about early detection and breast cancer, please visit: National Breast Cancer Foundation
To learn more about resqme, Inc.’s work, visit: resqme Pink