“This is my story”
My mother, sister and two cousins are breast cancer survivors along with myself. The Saturday before Mother’s Day I remember examining my breast. The next morning while getting ready for church I noticed tenderness in my left breast. After church I felt the area and I felt a very small lump. I was in total shock, disbelief, oh my God, surely not, I hope not. Monday morning at 8 am I called my Gynecologist and made an appointment to be seen that morning. After the breast exam I was scheduled to have a repeat mammogram the next day. After the test, I saw a surgeon; she then ordered a needle biopsy. Three days later I was diagnosed with very early stage 1 breast cancer. Three days later I had a lumpectomy and a lymphectomy. The cancer was only in the lump. On June 26th I started 6 months of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. I see my Oncologist every 6 months for follow-up visits. Today I’m cancer free and feel “Great”!! Early detection and prayer is the key to my survival and recovery. I say to all women, “Take care of your body, examine your breasts and get yearly mammograms.” – Deborah
Each week leading up to the Komen Ozark’s 16th Annual Race for the Cure, we will be highlighting a different local survivor. Each survivor has an important story and message to tell; whether it is early detection, giving back or becoming an advocate for the cause we are so thankful for the women who are giving us an insight into their journeys.
I found a suspicious “lump” and went to the Breast Center on April 16, 2013 for exam and biopsy. The next day, my pathology report confirmed what I knew. It was small, but it was cancer. Then the whirlwind… MRI, surgeon appointments, decisions.
Ten days after my pathology report, April 27, Komen Ozark’s Race for the Cure was held. I had never participated in any of their events. But, I knew that my daughter, who was living in Fayetteville, was going. Early that morning I woke to a text message on my phone. There was a picture of Katie and her friend holding a pink sign with my name on it! That’s when it all hit! I knew that the race was to raise money for research and the many programs that Komen has developed, as well as increase awareness of breast cancer. But, at that moment, it was personal!! I was suddenly a part of it!
Since that day, I have been able to participate in the “Pink Luncheon” and “Paint the Park Pink” in Fort Smith. To me, Komen represents a huge sisterhood of brave women. A sisterhood that is not easy to join. A sisterhood that I am honored to be a part of!