Written by Felicia DiGregorio, Felicia2D@aol.com Thursday, 10 October 2013 00:00
My name is Felicia DiGregorio. I have lived in the area for more than 15 years. Challenges in life take you in different directions. Sharing experiences with others help in the healing process. I would like to share my story of how necessary it is to have a yearly mammogram—no matter what!
Don’t be afraid to get checked— be afraid NOT to!
Just a few weeks after my father passed away, I decided to keep my yearly mammogram and sonogram appointment. The films showed a suspicious tissue and I needed a biopsy. Due to a cancellation that day, I had the choice of a biopsy at that moment or come back another day.
All I thought about was “pasta day” at Robbins Lane elementary school. I have coordinated this lunch for many years and my kids look forward to seeing me on that day. Yes, it sounds ridiculous, but I never thought it would be cancer because I have had biopsies in the past but as I found out—none like this one!
I decided to have the biopsy and was assured that every effort would be made to get me out on time for lunch duty. I contacted my lunch partner and good friend, Ann, to let her know I might be late. Within a couple of hours, I was finally done. They bandaged me up like a mummy and I was on my way to Robbins Lane with moments to spare. Nobody knew what I just went through, my children saw me as usual—it was a regular “pasta day” at Robbins Lane school.
A few days later and minutes before my children got off the school bus, I received the dreaded call. The biopsy came back positive for breast cancer.
I had Ductal Carcinoma In Situ of the Breast (DCIS). Yes, the good type, as I later learned, non-invasive. Soon after, I had a lumpectomy followed by six weeks of radiation and now take Tamoxifen for five years. All the while, participating in school functions and attending meetings for the fifth grade committee. (Yes, that is why I was late for some morning meetings!). Kids keep going no matter what else is going on in life, they are a good diversion.
Annually, I see a variety of doctors and go for an MRI, mammogram, and sonogram. I am so grateful to everyone who helped me through this. I was extremely lucky to have the support of my loving family and wonderful friends as I was also mourning the loss of my father.