Surviving breast cancer—twice

The first time the doctor told me I had breast cancer, I remember not wanting to tell my husband. We had married as widowers, and his first wife and other family members had died of cancer. One of my aunts had also died of breast cancer.

But since they caught the cancer early, during a routine mammogram, I was one of the lucky ones. I had 35 radiation treatments over the course of that summer. I would get back after my treatment by 7:30 a.m. and always find my husband and breakfast waiting. We would eat breakfast together and then get on with our day.

I had breast cancer again several years later, but I’ve been cancer-free for about six years now. I’m a tough old bird!

 

Helen, wearing pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

I was extra blessed, because the two times I had breast cancer I was able to conquer it. But without the mammogram, my doctor never would have noticed anything funny. So, ladies, a reminder during breast cancer awareness month: you should never skip your checkups—even if they call every year and tell you you’re fine. Well, it isn’t always fine.

And let me tell you—it was a big thing when the doctor sat in front of me and said, “you’re all clear.”

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