In November 2017, Michele felt a lump in her right breast. At that time, she was only 34 years old and was a healthy individual that went in for yearly physicals, played tennis regularly, rode her bike and maintained a healthy lifestyle. She was completely shocked when she went in to see her general doctor who then immediately ordered a mammogram and ultrasound. The radiologist did not like what he saw in the ultrasound and ordered an ultrasound biopsy for the next day. On November 16th , two days later, the results came back in and Michele was diagnosed with stage 3a breast cancer on the right side.
Since the diagnosis it has been non-stop doctor visits and several MRI’s to check the progression. Michele had to undergo a left MRI guided biopsy as previous scans showed something on that side also. The results of that biopsy on December 15th concluded that Michele had stage 1 breast cancer on her left side.
The first step in her treatment plan began with chemotherapy which started on December 27th. I am happy to say that Michele handled her chemo rounds like a champ, with only a few bad days mixed in there every so often. She finished up the chemo on April 5th.
The next step for Michele was to have surgery to remove the cancer. On May 3rd she underwent a double mastectomy and is doing well post-op. With weekly physical therapy sessions to regain her range of motion, she has made herself ready for the next step in the battle which includes radiation therapy. The surgery was not able to remove all the cancer cells in her body so she is expected to have 30 sessions of radiation therapy to kill any remaining cancer cells. The doctors are confident this will work and Michele is in good spirits despite the news she still has cancer. She began her radiation sessions on July 11th.
Michele is remaining strong as she battles this disease and has continued to work during her treatment to try to have some sense of a normal life. She is currently undergoing a daily hormone therapy pill regimen along with a monthly injection in the anticipation that this will help slow down this aggressive hormone driven cancer.
Help share and support
With her treatment plan and all the weekly doctor visits combined with the medications, life is a bit more complicated and stressful which has placed a financial burden on Michele. Her doctors have already informed her that she will continue her fight well into 2019. Research shows that the average cost to treat stage 3 breast cancer for two years after diagnosis is $159,442 (Blumen, Fitch, and Polkus, 2016.) Please help share Michele’s story and continue donating to help her fight this disease. Michele knows she is not going through this alone and already feels the prayers, love, and support from everyone!
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