I first noticed the lump on 8/11/10, the reason I remember that day is because I was called to the ER because Brad had been in a horrible car accident. Luckily, he suffered only bruises & cuts. I was working when they called me down to see him & he was still in a C-collar. I left him in the ER to go home and get Noah because we knew no one here at the time. When we all got home, Noah was cuddling with me and I just remember my right breast just being painful. I excused my self to the bathroom and took off my shirt & bra. I didn't really see a reason to be so sore. I raised my arms up over my head and I noticed my left breast was almost completely flat. I squeezed my nipples and there was discharge. When I felt the flat area, I could tell there was a lump. At that point, I already had an idea of what it was. Horrible time for me to be a nurse, right? Just knowing the signs & having that clinical knowledge can really shake you up. I put off going to the doctor for a couple of weeks. I told Brad but I did not tell my family. I wanted to really have something to worry about and not just a benign lump or mastitis. I finally made an appointment with a gynecologist in September and she drew some labs and set up a mammogram. I left work to go to the scan & boy they don't lie, the squish your boobies FLAT! My right side was fine, but my left side was so painful. I grit my teeth & just let her do it so we could get good pictures. I was then taken to the ultrasound room…this was not part of the procedure. I knew the room shuffling was concerning. After the ultrasound, the radiologist came in and said that I had a suspicious lump & I would need a biopsy. The biopsy was done on 9/30/10, on 10/1/10 (the first day of breast cancer awareness month) my husband and I were told I had breast cancer. I had no time to adjust to what I had been told because treatment had to be started immediately. There were 20 days between the time my port (place where they can give chemo) was placed in my chest & I started chemotherapy. The weekend after my second treatment, I lost my hair. In December of 2010 I was hospitalized for a week with neutropenic fever and was unable to see my 20 month old baby. In March of 2011, I had my left breast removed. One of the tumors had wound itself around a nerve in my left arm and the surgeon wound up removing a 2 inch section of that nerve. I have a permanent numb spot in my left arm. In July of the same year, I had the right side taken prophylacticly. I also worked full time through chemo and radiation. Things were going well until July 25, 2013. I had a breast revision done on the 3rd and after being cleared by the plastic surgeon, I started to do a couch to 10k program. Instead of gaining strength & improving my lung volume, I was becoming more & more winded. I told my oncologist & he referred me to a pulmonologist. I had accumulated fluid in my lung space & needed a thoracentesis (tap of my lung). They tapped it once and obtained 1500cc (1.5L) of fluid off my left lung and of course it tested positive for cancer cells. I wound up with a chest tube for four months. Then in late march, I noticed I was getting winded again. This time I had 800cc of fluid in my right lung. They tapped it & sent it off for testing & surprise -cancer! One week went by and I still felt off. I asked the pulmonologist if he would just do an ultrasound on me to be sure my lung was clear. He said I had about 200cc, which didn't impress him much. He asked me to lean back & he ultrasounded my chest near my heart and found fluid. He wanted me to get an Echo immediately. I told him I could walk over but he didn't feel comfortable letting me go by my self. The Echo showed about 500cc of fluid around my heart. Needless to say, I was admitted immediately. I had surgery the next day (April 15th) to create a pericardial window to allow for drainage and had a chest tube placed in my right lung. The final amount of fluid removed from my heart was 800cc. The chest tube stayed in place from April to August. I had a talc procedure done to seal the lung lining down to get the tube out a bit faster. It still took it's own sweet time. I was also doing chemotherapy from March to present while all of this is going on. And, will have to continue with chemo for 1-2 years. The side effects of this particular chemo are: hair loss, nausea, loss of fingernails, vision changes & neuropathy of hands and feet.
You are invited to follow Molly's journey on her Facebook group site - French Family Fund.
**As of October 7, Molly has been fighting off pneumonia. Please continue your prayers for our friend. They are beyond appreciated. Much love, Molly's Friends
- Destini Mattocks
- Katie Meyers
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