by Lisa McVey, client of Breast Cancer Resource Centers
Anyone who has been diagnosed with a disease like cancer can tell you, when you hear the diagnosis time stops, glass shatters, your hearing goes void and your brain scrambles to try to make sense of the limited information received before your hearing went void. The decisions and choices that follow are a daunting labyrinth built on a confusing nightmare that seems to go on forever.
When I was diagnosed, the first thing I wanted to do was find the experts!!! No one is more of an expert than those brave women who have traveled this road prior to me. The BCRC and the women I have met on this journey bring the nightmares to a manageable state and offer the best map to navigate the ever growing snowball of information.
After 3 lumpectomies, the Surgeon still hadn’t quite gotten all of it. So rather than a 4th lumpectomy, I opted for a bi-lateral mastectomy. I just wanted to be done. This began in the summer of 2011. By the summer of 2012, I was fully reconstructed and going about my life as a single girl with lots of scars and a story to tell.
Then out of the blue and two weeks before my 42nd birthday, I met someone. A special someone born out of a miracle that put both of us in the right place at the right time. What a beautiful thing in the midst of so much ugly. After a whirlwind romance he moved to Austin! (Ain’t love grand!) Scott has been so amazing throughout the process. I don’t know what I would have done if I’d had an unsupportive partner.
Because you see, about a year after meeting Scott, I found a pea sized lump in my original lumpectomy scar. I reached out to Runi, the BCRC Patient Navigator who had helped me the first time around. I’m so glad that we had kept in touch! Just because I had gone through this once, didn’t mean that I had all the answers.
Runi helped me understand my pathology report. We discussed additional testing that I could request to give me more information and hopefully peace of mind. Most importantly, Runi helped me isolate additional questions to ask the doctor as well as what test results to request to help me understand the full picture. It was Runi and BCRC that helped me find a sense of control in this totally out of control situation.
While there is still so much that remains in the unknown about a cancer diagnosis, BCRC has provided the resources to help me ask the right questions so I can make educated decisions. I’ll be forever grateful.
If you or someone you know is faced with a breast cancer diagnosis and could use our support, please visit our website or call our helpline at 512-524-2560.
A gift to BCRC provides women with personal support that continues
long after treatment ends. And for women like Lisa – a familiar place to return to
in the event the cancer comes back.