My name is Amy Morris. On November 1st, 2018, I was diagnosed with invasive ductile carcinoma. Breast cancer.
My doctor called me at work. “Amy...you’re positive.” I remember his tone, his inflection, his genuine shock.
Then I remember having to pick the phone up off the floor.
I found the lump myself during a self-exam. My radiologist advocated for me to get an MRI - and thank God she did. Because what they thought was one tumor turned out to be a cluster of cancer tumors, triple positive, multifocal and on the move. They ripped up my treatment plan and started over and things started to move fast. It was head spinning. I was terrified to my core. Remember - we caught it early. Still, I needed 18 weeks of chemo, 25 rounds of radiation, a total mastectomy, and I’m still in treatment - 52 weeks of targeted immunotherapy. (As of this writing I only have one more to go!)
You are your own best advocate. You know your body. If you suspect there’s something wrong, do not wait. Be vigilant. Be brave. Be secure in the knowledge that the medicine today is better and more effective than it was even 5 or 10 years ago. For my kind of cancer, they didn’t even have a treatment 10 years ago. Today I’m what they call NED: No Evidence of Disease. The science, the doctors and nurses and technologists and the drugs - they can help you, maybe even cure you - but YOU have to do the self-exams and get the mammograms. You have to catch it and kill it.
So please take care of yourselves. If you don’t know how to do a self-exam, your doctor or nurse will show you. If you don’t want to get a mammogram, go anyway - but take a friend. Ladies, get together for mammograms and mimosas (or mojitos or martinis or mock tails, whatever). Make it an outing.
We will keep each other strong and healthy and we will WIN this fight against breast cancer.
We will WIN.