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My journey started in the beginning of 2009. My dear mom had just passed after a long unrelated illness. During that time I was undergoing routine yearly mammogram. I was asked to have an ultrasound of both breast which showed a small lump on rt breast. I was adviced by my GYN to see a specialist surgeon. I already know of a fantastic one. After he examined me he not only felt the lump on the rt breast but also a small one on the left side. Biopsies were performed shortly after and rt side showed negative but left was inconclusive. Dr recommended a lumpectomy which came back as DCIS. My husband and I were in shock and unbelief since I've always been very proactive with my health as well as very fit. However I knew I was going to beat this and not let it rob my joy and faith.

Shortly after I had sentinel lymph nodes (3) removed and were negative :)

After tumor board reviewed my case it was advised that I underwent another surgery to ck for margins since tumor was of an aggressive kind. That surgery which took more of my already small breast proved to be positive. After visiting with various specialist and to go over my options I decided to have a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction right after. The rt would be prophylactic since Drs couldn't guarantee that cancer couldn't come back and be undetected again and more aggressive.

Surgery was painful both physically and emotionally but I was surrounded by my loved ones and covered in prayers. I knew I would be alright. It was a total of 12 surgeries from beginning to end. I'm stronger than I thought and my faith in my Creator just grew stronger. I've been able to encourage others. My husband, two sisters and two daughters have been a pillar of strength for me. The only thing I wished was to have my mom with me during this journey as she had been throughout my whole life. I look forward to enjoying the rest of my life.

Mayra C. Torres
Pembroke Pines, FL

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