Breast Cancer Survivor: Dawn’s Story

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    NASHVILLE

    Dawn Humphrey Contributor

    – It all started
    with a BSE. The first time I
    remember feeling something
    foreign in my breast was in
    the shower while doing my
    breast self-exam.
    It was about the size and
    shape of a small jelly bean. I
    resolved to remember where
    it was and to keep checking
    it to see if there were any
    changes over time.
    It was around September
    that I first remember feeling
    it, and I told myself that I
    would get it checked in January
    if it was still there after
    the holidays.
    The holidays came and
    went, and the lump remained,
    so I went to see
    my family doctor, Dr. Bob
    Sykes. He sent me for a mammogram.
    The mammogram
    didn’t show anything, so the
    technician suggested I go
    next door to the ultrasound
    room.
    As the wand rolled over
    the lump, I could feel it, and
    the technician could see it
    on the screen. Several days
    later, I received a letter from
    the radiologist that said the
    lump was highly suspicious,
    and a biopsy was recommended.
    Dr. Sykes set me up with
    an appointment with a local
    doctor who was to do the
    biopsy. However, when the
    doctor didn’t feel anything,
    he said he would not do the
    biopsy. He said that I should
    just “watch” it. I considered
    that I could be overreacting
    and thought about doing
    just that; but on my way
    out, this doctor’s nurse suggested
    that I should keep
    pursuing a biopsy because
    her mother had had breast
    cancer.
    I decided to see if my
    gynecologist would do a biopsy
    or at least recommend
    someone. He referred me to
    a surgeon who at last set me
    up for a biopsy. That is when
    I got my cancer news.
    A series of events occurred
    over the next few
    months. Everything happened
    in God’s good timing.
    My treatment was a bilateral
    mastectomy. Following surgery,
    my surgeon came in to
    report that I was cured. I was
    so thankful that I was only in
    stage 1 and would not need
    any further treatment.
    There is a breast cancer
    keychain that reads “I Am
    the Cure.” It contains three
    superimposed circles that
    represent the average sizes
    of breast lumps that can
    be found 1.) by accident 2.)
    with breast self-exam 3.) with
    a mammogram. Since my
    lump could not be detected
    by a mammogram, the selfexam
    was key for me. It pays
    to be aware of your body.
    When you have a feeling
    that something isn’t right,
    you shouldn’t ignore it. Selfadvocate
    and don’t settle for
    something that doesn’t leave
    you at peace.
    It was a simple shower
    hanger that reminded me to
    do my self-exam, so I now
    pass these shower hangers
    to other women to remind
    them to do the same.
    I am not the cure, however,
    God is. He spared me
    from many things I could
    have suffered in my cancer
    experience.
    He orchestrated everything
    and gave me peace in
    the midst of fear and uncertainty.
    My testimony is too
    big to be contained in this
    space, but I will be happy
    to tell anyone the rest of the
    story. I give God all the glory
    for my recovery.

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