The words no one expects. You. Have. Cancer.
“We caught it early. It’s very small, your prognosis is good, you are lucky. This will probably be more of an inconvenience than anything (what?!?) you need to find a surgeon.”
Wait, what? What?? What did you say?!?!?!?! I’m not sure I heard you … it all ran together after my mouth dropped open, after I heard the words: You. Have. Cancer.
So began the whirlwind of “hurry up and wait” that is cancer and its treatment. “Hurry up” and do something (something, anything, everything, just please make it go AWAY!); poking, prodding, mammograms, sonograms, biopsy, MRI, surgery and then the seemingly endless wait for results.
Because we caught it early, and it was very small, and the surgery was done quickly–and thoroughly, and the radiation took care of any possible “remains.”
I was lucky (still am). My prognosis was, and is, good. Because I had the mammogram. The mammogram I had every year. We caught it early. And it was very small.
It was however just a bit more than an inconvenience.
I am the mammogram poster girl.
I have been “free” of breast cancer for six years. My sisters have lived through it, too. Karla has been cancer-free for eight years. Leslie has been cancer-free for six months. All three of us were diagnosed via mammogram. P.S. None of us have the “breast cancer gene.”
Since my diagnosis, I have raised money to fund mammograms for those unable to afford them at an annual volleyball tournament–Volley 4A Cure. To date, Volley 4A Cure has raised more than $50,000. For more information, click here!
Sheri Mathis is founder and director for Volley 4A Cure. To learn more about her journey and how she is helping others beat cancer through early detection, visit Volley4ACure.net or like the organization on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. Email her directly at Sherimathis@tx.rr.com or call 214.908.8741.