Donna's Breast Cancer Fund

I went for my annual mammogram at the beginning of March. I have been going faithfully every year although I have to admit I was about 4 months late on this one. They called me and told me the saw something and wanted me to come in for an ultrasound. I went for that on March 7th. The found 3 areas that were questionable and wanted to biopsy. On March 21st I had a needle biopsy of 2 masses and a lymph node on my left breast positioned pretty much under my left arm. One of the masses and the lymph node came back fine - no cancer. But the third was diagnosed positive for invasive lobular carcinoma. Since then it has been quite a whirlwind. My first contact was with a nurse navigator, Alison. She is so wonderful. Her job is to "navigate" me through this whole process. She helps me schedule appointments, she answers all of my questions, whatever I need she is there. Next I met with the oncologist, Dr. Chin who ordered an MRI so they could see in more detail where it is located and a more clear size of the cancer. I went for the MRI on April 12. On April 13 I went to see the surgeon, Dr. Mangat. She indicated that the MRI showed another spot that was not seen on the ultrasound so she ordered a stereotactic biopsy  She also referred me to a genetic counselor, who I saw the next day. That was fascinating. She did my family tree of who died when and how. Then we talked about the fact that I am young to have this diagnosis and the fact that I have a Polish background. So she ordered genetic testing which is a blood test. They tested over 25 different genes for mutations which could indicate a higher risk for cancer or higher risk for cancer returning.  Then I went for my stereotactic biopsy. This one was worse than the first even though they only took samples from one area this time as opposed to the 3 last time. It was very painful and I wound up passing out. I was tired and very sore but still got up and went to work. The second biopsy was also cancerous . Both the mastectomy and the surgery for the first part of the reconstruction will be at the same time. They are also going to be putting a port in my chest when they do the surgery because I will need it for when I have chemotherapy and for my herceptin therapy. I got the results from the genetic test and I am positive for the BRCA2 mutated gene. For me, this means that since I already have breast cancer there is a higher risk for ovarian cancer. Once all of these treatments are done, I will need to have a hysterectomy. Sometime in the next few years my kids will need to be tested too to see if they have the mutated gene, and if they do, they can be watched more closely.  Surgery is scheduled for 5/19 and I'll be off work for 6 weeks recovering. 
The money you donate will be used to pay for my medical bills and treatments as well as helping my kids and I get through the time I will be off of work recovering.
As a single mom with 2 kids to support, your generous donation is so greatly appreciated.   I am so thankful for any amount you are able to share.
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Donna Hradecky McMahon 
Westmont, IL
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