CONTACT JOAN CONTACT JOAN

Dee Morgan

While were were on vacation in June, 2008, I received a call to tell me I had breast cancer. My mammogram in October, 2007 indicated there were no issues. In April, I felt a lump under my right arm. When it was still there in May, I decided to contact my gynecologist. While he thought it was probably just an issue with fibrocystic tissue, he sent me for further tests later that same day. His decision saved my life.

A biopsy was scheduled. I knew the results would not be back until we were scheduled to leave on our trip. It turns out I received my call the first day of vacation. Needless to say, we returned home to deal with the next steps.

My surgeon recommended a lumpectomy. I was 56 years old at the time. After surgery I learned my cancer was also Stage 2 Triple Negative. (For Triple Negative to be so rare, I seem to hear about lots of women dealing with this particular kind.) I had six rounds of chemo and 36 rounds of radiation.

While my medical regimen was scary, I was so uplifted by the tremendous support of my family, friends and the company where I worked. I heard from friends from many years past. It was so good to talk with some of my grade school and high school friends. My brother called to say his church was praying for me. My neighbors made a prayer shawl for me to wear during chemo. My husband and children there every step of the way.

Having cancer changes you. You realize every moment is precious. I don't get as stressed over little things. I take time to enjoy a beautiful day. I do not mind at all my hair came back stark white. Not gray, white! Actually, I like it.

Joan, I know you have to get through more of the treatment process. You already have a wonderful, positive attitude which is half the battle. Continue to be strong. You will get through this!

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