Breast cancer patient stories can help newly diagnosed breast cancer patients learn about facing their own conditions from women who have faced similar experiences before. The Breastlink Angels 2014 calendar featured many inspiring breast cancer patient stories. Roxanne’s story with a bilateral mastectomy was presented in the November chapter.
Roxanne R.’s Bilateral Mastectomy Breast Cancer Story
- Diagnosis – May 2010
- Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
I have always tried to live my life with “the cup half full”. So, after learning I had breast cancer, I thought, “Okay, based on the statistics, I’m the 1 in 8. I’ll take one for the team.” I immediately created a CaringBridge webpage, called my church and got on the prayer chain and started my journey.
The chain of events was as follows: neoadjuvant chemotherapy, bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction, more chemotherapy and 5 weeks of radiation. My goal through the entire process was to stay strong emotionally and be the best example for my daughter who was 15 at that time.
Yes, it was a huge mountain to climb and I definitely hit some bumps in the road. Through the grace of God, I had tremendous love and support from family, friends, neighbors and even acquaintances. I honestly would not change a thing. I would have never met the phenomenal team at Breastlink or any of the individuals I have encountered along the way. I truly hope we do find a cure for this cancer, but until then, we will just have to “Stay calm and carry on.”
As a result of my diagnosis, I somehow switched from volunteer maniac who did not have the word “no” in my vocabulary to a new focus of service. I volunteer weekly at both the Hoag Breast Center and of course, at the Orange Coast Imaging Center (Breastlink).
I also get to work at the Women’s Health Boutique and share my story and listen to others share their story. It is very rewarding to meet a breast cancer sister and hear her story wherever she is in her journey.
Once I completed treatment and was feeling better and more like my old self, I wanted to resume some of my activities – like playing bunco with my old group. Unfortunately, the group dissolved. I thought “what better way to get back on the horse than start a new group”! Thanks to Facebook and my dear friend Becky,
I was able to create a group rather quickly. We have some familiar faces from the previous group and also some new members which include all ages young and old. It is such a blessing to have these wonderful ladies in my life, even if I only see some of them once a month.
I am so grateful for each and every day and count my blessings every morning.