[Editor’s Note: On Jan. 10, 2017, Shellie Gossman found out she had breast cancer. She is sharing her journey with Times Plain Dealer readers.]
CRESCO - July 31
It is hard to believe it has almost been seven months since I was diagnosed with IDC.
So much has happened.
I have been through 16 chemo treatments and have had five weeks with nothing going on but testing.
I have to say there have been some scary test results. I had an MRI that showed the main tumor area had shrunk but then it showed a couple other spots that were not there the first time. I was very scared.
How can that be? After all the chemo drugs that I had run through me and things still grew or moved? When they did an ultrasound, it showed some spots that they were worried about, also. This was a week before surgery.
The radiologist who read the ultrasound asked me if I wanted a biopsy set up. I told them “No.”
I had surgery set for the next week. I would be on the operating table before I got the results.
I look back at the chemo that I had and how I felt every day and cannot believe that I worked just about every day. People ask me constantly how I am feeling and I give the same answer to everyone, “Great, how are you?” I get few funny looks with that answer, but I am sure half the people who ask me really would not know what to say if I told them how I really felt. Seriously felt.
Not many people want to hear that I cried myself to sleep or that my body hurts so bad some days I want to cry when I move. They don’t want to know that I made myself eat because nothing looked good or tasted good. That I would cry when I got ready for work because I lost my hair and could not style it like I used to.
No they just walked away when I would actually open up. There were a few very close friends that were always there. But honestly, most just try to make small talk.
If you asked me what I missed most about before I was diagnosed it would be hard to answer.
Cancer changes your whole life forever. Not just the present but also the future. It affects not just me but your whole family. My sisters have now been moved up in the risk factor of breast cancer and should have mammograms yearly.
I have been asked what I am going to change in my life to prevent cancer from coming back after I am done with everything. How can you prevent cancer? If someone has an answer to that I am sure there are a lot of people who would like to know.