This is an article I wrote in 2006. This is my story of battling breast cancer. I thought it was worth sharing again. Linda L. Lex
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in October, 2005. The diagnosis was not a shock in that I had felt the lump two months prior yet denied the idea that I could have breast cancer. I have annual mammograms and was putting off something I knew I had to face.
Once I was diagnosed, everything went very quickly. I never thought about dying —only about surgery and chemotherapy. I talked to friends who had gone through breast cancer and had 100% support from so many! As it turned out I had a lumpectomy and 17 lymph nodes removed, two of which were cancerous. This meant I required strong chemo as well as radiation. I guess I’m a vain woman because losing my hair was the one thing I was very concerned about.”Will I lose my hair?” “When will I lose my hair?” “How soon will my hair start coming back?” The doctors anticipate and answer these questions even before you finish asking.
My surgery was on October 23,2005. My chemotherapy, which started Nov. 29, consisted of four different types of drugs. The first four treatments were hard core, with the most side effects. Then I had 12 treatments of two drugs that were still potent, but not as hard on my body.
I believe that the awareness and research are the reasons that I never doubted that I was going to come through this. I did not see this as a death sentence.
The love and support I have been given through the past year is certainly what stands out in my mind and completely overshadows the sickness or any of the bad days.
I own and operate Healthy Inspirations of San Luis Obispo, which is an all-women nutrition and exercise facility. I’m offering free exercise to any woman going through chemo or radiation.
“The American College of Sports Medicine has published updated guidelines on exercise and physical activity in patients who are undergoing active treatment for cancer or who have completed treatment. The panel concluded that exercise training is safe during and after cancer treatment and results in improved physical functioning, quality of life, and cancer-related fatigue for many cancer survivor groups.”