Next Issue December 1st 2016

Erica's Story of Strength

Photo Courtesy of JMG Photography

Erica's Story

My journey began Oct 4, 2012 when I found out (on my birthday) whether I had the BRCA gene or not. Unfortunately, I did have the BRCA II gene...
Finding that out made me want to be pro-active and possibly save myself from breast cancer. My mother had passed away when I was twelve and my maternal grandmother when I was six. I wanted to make sure I wouldn't have to go through the same thing they had gone through, so my double mastectomy was scheduled in January of 2013.
I had a traumatic experience with this surgery, but in my mind I knew I was a fighter and I would pull out just fine. The pain was horrible afterward. In early March, I went to the hospital for emergency surgery because I had become septic from an infection in the incision site. The doctors said I wouldn't have made it through the weekend if I had not come in that day.

The next couple of months went by and I recovered from that horrific time. It really made me look at
things differently, and I never wanted to give up for anything. In December of the same year, I went
in for a regular checkup. Since I couldn't have a mammogram, I was given an ultrasound. As they were checking everything in my chest, including lymph nodes, I saw the nurses face and I just knew. It was a horrible feeling knowing that in the same year I had my breasts removed, I still had a 12%
chance of getting breast cancer again. The cancer was now Stage II diagnosed as; T2,N2,M1. My worst nightmare came true.

Christmas that year was heart breaking. I had my first dose of radiation that January, and had surgery
scheduled to remove the tumor February 6, 2014. I prayed the morning of my surgery and knew I was
going to be just fine. The surgery went great, and I had reconstructive surgery done at the same time.
Two weeks after this surgery I got very sick, so I immediately rushed to the Emergency Room. I blacked out from everything and woke up in recovery. I had been given emergency surgery for a second time due to being septic in my chest. My fever was 103.1 when I left to go to the hospital that day, and insideI knew that would have been the end for me if my doctor hadn't arrived in time to do the surgery.

It’s now August 2015 and I have been in remission since June 2014. I wouldn't be here if it weren't the support from my significant other, family and close friends. I still do not have a chest and my body hasn't been normal since everything I’ve been through. All my life I’ve wondered if God would be there for me during times like these, but I came to realize God put me through this to make me understand who I am as a person. I am strong willed and I have a huge heart. I've been through so much, and it does hurt to think about all I have been through, but going through the most painful time in my life has made me the woman who I have always wanted to be. Me.

No comments

Leave your comment here :)

Southern Sass Magazine 2014-2015. Powered by Blogger.