A Survivor's Story in More Ways than One

I was 45 and raising my 3 year old granddaughter when I went for my regular mammogram on 09/15/05. I received the "call" on 09/16/05 to inform me that there was something and there would be further tests. I went for the Compression Mammogram (translation - they just squeezed harder) on 09/26/05. On 09/29/05 I was told by my surgeon that there was only a 20% chance of cancer. I told everyone that I had an 80% chance it was not cancer. Because I was large breasted and my lump could not be felt I had to sit with my breast compressed while they shot a needle with a wire to the lump to lead the surgeon to the correct spot during the biopsy procedure. I cried for 1st time. Because the surgeon did not come to see me following the procedure I thought I was okay. However, when I got to my family I realized that I was wrong. My mother had that "look" and my daughter was crying. I was diagnosed with cancer on 10/05/05. I was shocked when the surgeon explained I would have both breasts removed. I had a bilateral mystectomy on 10/21/05 and while I was recovering from the surgery and taking 8 rounds of chemo I was given custody of my 2nd granddaughter that was 3 months old. I still had a court battle ahead of me but she was safe. I have been cancer free for 3 1/2 years and my granddaughters are now 7 and 4. They are the light of my life and help keep me young and strong. I have chose not to wear a prosthesis and I have not had reconstuctive surgery yet. I am contempating it but right now I am comfortable the way I am.
Lorrie Brewer
Tulsa, OK