Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hidden Blessings

By Suzie Carr

Breast Cancer Awareness Month has taken on a whole new meaning to me this year, and here’s why…

My thirty-eight-year-old sister just got married this past June to a wonderful man who adores her. They enjoyed a fairytale wedding surrounded by family and friends, and then celebrated their new marriage with a fun-filled cruise to the Caribbean. Life couldn’t have been any happier for them both.

Fast forward three weeks into their new married life, and my sister made the sobering discovery of a lump in her left breast. Panicked, she called her doctor who immediately examined her and sent her for a breast ultrasound and mammogram. She learned that not one, but two lumps had invaded her once healthy breast. So, the doctor performed a biopsy. Unfortunately, she was told she had breast cancer of the milk ducts. Less than a month after marrying her husband, she faced an uncertain future.

Fortunately for my sister, this has a happier ending than some women get. She was told that milk duct cancer isn’t one that is easily discovered on one’s own, and so by the time it is usually discovered, it is a later stage cancer. Thanks to her performing a self-breast exam and discovering the lump, hers was discovered at a very early stage.

This past week, she had a double mastectomy and thanks to modern day medicine will have reconstructive surgery in three months once she’s healed. She is cancer-free and will not have to endure chemotherapy or radiation.

Here’s the real miracle in this story. The lump she felt was not cancerous. It was a benign cyst, as was the other one discovered in the mammogram. If she hadn’t performed a self-breast exam and discovered that lump, her outcome a year or more from now, could’ve been fatal. What she at first viewed as the worst thing that could’ve ever happened to her, soon became her saving grace. Discovering that lump saved her life, and now her two children can continue to enjoy their healthy mom.

Please do yourselves a favor and perform self-breast exams, and encourage the women in your life to do the same. It really does save lives.

I feel it's critical to support the community, and so I've committed to donate a portion of my book sale proceeds to Chely Wright's LikeMe foundation ( to help provide support, resources and education to LGBT individuals, and their families and friends.

1 comment:

Chum said...

Great post. And I'm so happy for your sister