OCCUPATION: Aesthetician for Georgia Institute For Plastic Surgery
AGE OF DIAGNOSIS: 44
HOW DID YOU DISCOVER YOU HAD BREAST CANCER?
My best friend suggested we go have our mammograms together because we didn't get to see each other a lot. So one day we went to lunch and had mammograms done by Dr. Richard Greco. He suspected something, and after having an ultrasound done, cancer was discovered on my left breast. I always thought that if you had breast cancer, you had a lump but mine wasn't like that. It was calcification.
WHAT TREATMENT DID YOU UNDERGO?
I had a needle biopsy on Oct. 5, 1994. They did the mastectomy. At the time, Dr. Greco had just brought tram-flap reconstructive surgery to Savannah and so I had that done as well. This was such a new thing, I didn't even know we could do it. I've now been cancer-free for 26 years! I go for blood work once a year and kept going by to see Dr. Greco regularly to thank him for what he did for me. Then one day I went by to see him and asked about a job, and I've been working for him now for 13 and a half years.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE THE NEWLY DIAGNOSED?
In today's times, its not always a death sentence. Early detection is very, very important. Breast cancer is not a club you ever want to belong to, but if you do it's a very supportive thing. So many women who've had breast cancer before me were supportive of me, if I can help just one person I'm glad to do it. I look back on it now and realize it was all by the grace of God.