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It showed up in a routine mammogram.
Basically, I felt as if someone had thrown a pail of cold water into my face.
It was recommended that I have a mastectomy and six months of chemotherapy, which I did. In addition to a small cancer, I also had cancer in situ and at that time, it was not known whether chemotherapy (or perhaps it was a lumpectomy followed by radiation, I don’t recall) would destroy the carcinoma in situ as well as the cancer. A year or so later, my surgeon told me they now knew chemotherapy (or radiation) would have destroyed the carcinoma in situ.
What an awful experience chemotherapy was.
Get a second opinion and find a support group.
To enjoy and be grateful for every day. I also acquired more empathy for people diagnosed with cancer than I had before.
Breast cancer is not a death sentence.
Sonia Pressman Fuentes is a retired attorney and a feminist and community activist, author, and public speaker. She is a co-founder of NOW (National Organization for Women) and the first woman attorney in the Office of the General Counsel at the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). In the 1990’s, she was a member of the board of the American Cancer Society (ACS) in Washington, DC, and traveled to China and Israel to look into the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer for ACS. She is divorced, has one daughter, and lives in Sarasota, Florida. Visit her website!
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