I was diagnosed with Stage II - Invasive Ductal breast cancer after I found a lump. Two of my aunts and grandmother have had breast cancer so I've gone in for routine exams my whole life. I've always had cysts and was told not to worry about them. Before showering one night, I found a lump. At first I didn't worry about it, but when I still felt it a few nights later, I decided to go in to have it checked out. They got me in quickly for a biopsy and I waited for the results. I worked the Avon 39 event over a weekend and was so inspired by all the women battling cancer that I met. A few days later, I would find out that I was also battling cancer. My doctor called with the biopsy results the same week as the event. From there, it was kind of a whirlwind. My care team worked quickly to get everything scheduled. I had a mastectomy two weeks after getting the results, and completed 16 weeks of chemo and 8 weeks of radiation.
With Texas Oncology, everything was in the same network. All of my surgeries, all of my appointments, every doctor I saw, was done as part of the same network. They coordinated everything on my behalf. They made it so easy to get expert care on every level. My entire team was in constant communication with each other.
My doctors were incredible. I've had other doctors who didn't want the patient to have any input, but that's not the case with Texas Oncology. My partner was constantly researching and would often bring articles or ideas to the care team. They always took the time to read them or listen and to try new things. Everyone from the schedulers to the nurses was wonderful. They wouldn't let me have bad days. And even though they treat so many patients, they knew me by name and made me feel like I was the only one. I loved my experience with Texas Oncology so much that I still go over there to hang out sometimes.
It was a little scary after I finished everything because I was so used to the family atmosphere of the clinic, the consistency of my routine. I found a cancer support group and am now a state leader. I spend my time speaking and planning events and conferences and see myself as a cancer ambassador. I'm trying to inspire others to let them know that they can get through this.