I found out I had breast cancer at the age of 50. It was June of 2016 and my husband had been after me to get a mammogram for some time since I had skipped getting one in 2015. I wasn’t having any symptoms and I felt fine. I received a call just a few days after receiving my Mammogram at MD Imaging. It was Sharon Hanson letting me know that I needed a sonogram because they saw something in my mammogram. I also needed to get a biopsy. Just a few days later, Sharon gave me the bad news. I never thought in a million years that I would hear those words from anyone.
The hardest thing I had to do was tell my kids that I had breast cancer. Each handled it differently. Three days later, I went to see a surgeon, Dr. Philben, in Redding. Within days, I had my first surgery, a lumpectomy. At my follow up visit a week later, I found out that I needed another surgery due to the fact that my margins were not clear (which meant that Dr. Philben didn’t get all of the cancer the first time) and she would have to go back in and take more tissue. At the end of two weeks, I received the news that the margins were clear and now I could start treatment, which for me meant Chemo and Radiation treatments. I had 16 Chemo treatments altogether. The first four were two weeks apart and the remaining 12 were every week. Then I had six weeks of Radiation, going five days a week for six weeks. It was a very long few months. I had a wonderful support system through my family, friends, and this wonderful community. They all came together and helped me every step of the way. On my darkest days, my husband Rod, my daughter Heather her husband Robert, my son Zack and his wife Shunell, my daughter Dani Jo and her husband Adam, and my son Chad, along with all my grandkids and so many more family members and friends, helped me remember how much I had to live for. I had good days and bad for sure.
Now, I cannot stress enough to every woman how important getting a yearly mammogram is. It can save your life as it did mine and so many other women every year. It’s only a few minutes of being uncomfortable, but it is worth it. I cannot stress enough to each and every one out there the importance of going once a year and having this life-saving x-ray done. I am living proof that it can save your life. As we head into the new year make it your new year’s resolution to get your mammogram.
Stick to having it done every year. Make a day of it. Go in the morning, have some lunch with friends and/or family and do some shopping afterward. Don’t put it off!!! I have been cancer free for 2 years now. I feel wonderful and I live each day to its fullest. I would like to give a special thank you to Sharon Hanson, without her taking such great care of me then and now, I wouldn’t have known what to do. She was always there to answer questions and make my treatment go as well as possible. Thank you, Sharon, you are awesome! -Lisa Gallagher
Screenings to discuss with your provider!
- Cervical Cancer
- Breast Cancer
- Colorectal Cancer
- High Blood Pressure