By Roxy Harrison
Breast Cancer Survivor in San Antonio
My name is Roxy Harrison and these are my miracle stories.
My diagnosis story of both breast and ovarian cancer are a miracle!
I noticed some discolouration under my right breast. I ignored it for a couple of months. It wouldn’t hurt but sometimes it would itch.
I showed it to my primary care doctor. She said it’s probably just a heat rash, but if you’re concerned you can get a mammogram done.
I was 37 so I wasn’t too worried.
I did the mammogram, which I refer to as making pancakes.
They call me back 2 weeks later that they want to do another one to compare. Why they would think something could change in 2 weeks is beyond me, but no problem. I do another one.
Then they wanted me to do an ultrasound. After the ultrasound the breast surgeon came in and said she’s concerned about some of the images so she wants to do a biopsy.
The biopsy confirmed Stage 2 Grade A breast cancer.
Now get this, the cancer was in the left breast and the discoloration was under the right breast, so one had nothing to do with the other.
But if I didn’t get that discoloration, my cancer could’ve gone undetected until it was too late, God forbid!
I had a double mastectomy and six rounds of chemo.
Right after my breast cancer diagnosis, I had genetic testing done. It showed that I have a high likelihood of ovarian cancer. So after my chemotherapy was done—about 7 months after diagnosis and surgery—my oncologist recommended we do a full hysterectomy for preventative measures.
My oncologist said we’re lucky that we did it when we did, because he ended up finding a polyp on the cervix, pre-cancerous cells in the inner lining of the uterus and a tumor on the ovary.
Had I not done it. I might have needed more chemo.
So those are my miracles.
I’m more self confident, although that’s starting to fade, maybe it was just a side effect from the chemo!
As for coping strategies, I try to take it one day at a time and know that every day is a blessing!
Post-cancer would tell me not to ignore something even if you think it’s nothing. I’d rather have people or doctors laugh at me then get cancer.
Survivorship means I got another chance at life!
Editor’s Note: This is part of a series of guest blog posts from Breast Friends Forever (BFF) in San Antonio, Texas (64% Latino). BFF is a support group that enables young breast cancer survivors to share stories and experiences, developed by the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health San Antonio (the team behind Salud America!) and Susan G. Komen San Antonio. Email BFF or Visit BFF on Facebook. The main image above and additional images feature Roxy Harrison.