This entry was written by Jaime Rossano. Jaime, an instructor at a play and music facility, is also a college student pursuing a degree in Humanities and Social Science. Every other Friday, starting in January throughout the entire year of 2011, Jaime will share a blog entry about her breast cancer experience. This year-long blog series is in honor of LBBC’s 20th anniversary.
Allow Jaime to introduce herself:
I think every girl’s dream growing up is to have the most beautiful wedding, marry the perfect man, live in a big house with a white picket fence, watch your children run around the yard and hang laundry on the line outback. It never seems to occur that at any moment, it might rain.
I had the perfect wedding. I have the almost perfect husband (every man has flaws). I rent a small house (no picket fence, though). And last but not least, I have a beautiful son who just turned 20 months old. Despite all of this, I am standing in a puddle.
It was the beginning of September when I did my routine breast exam. I noticed something that was not there before — it was the size of a marble. Unsure of what it was, I paid close attention to it for a while. As time went by it got a little bigger and then it was noticeable. Off to get a mammogram and ultrasound…
Would it hurt? The most frightening part was waiting for the radiologist after getting the mammogram and the ultrasound done. Will it pop my implants? Nope, not enough pressure. What will they see? They saw something. It was a lump — 3cm that appeared to be a fibro adenoma. I saw the general surgeon about two days later to schedule a lumpectomy. We would have to wait for the pathology results to determine if it really was a fibro adenoma.
On October 29, 2010, a little after 2 p.m., I was leaving work to venture off to see my son’s first Halloween parade! The phone rang…
“Jaime, I am so sorry it is what we feared. It is breast cancer.” I dropped to my knees, screaming. My world turned upside down because of a two-minute conversation. I went out to the car to face my husband. I put on a fake smile for my son’s first parade. I tried to hold it together before my mom could figure out something was wrong. But as soon as I saw her, I lost it. We pulled out our umbrellas, put on our rain boots, took a deep breath and jumped in the puddle.
I was so numb and lost that I couldn’t decide what to do next. My mom made countless phone calls to figure out where we needed to go with the news that we had just found out about. Finally, my great oncologist, surgeon and my wonderful nurse coordinator made me feel some rays of sunshine peeking through the clouds.
I have Invasive Ductile Carcinoma, Estrogen +, Progesterone + and Her 2 -. On December 6, 2010 I underwent surgery: a left side full lymph node dissection with a mastectomy and a simple mastectomy on the right side. The pain was not too bad since I had implants. Although everyday is a little easier, I still face a challenge knowing that I still can’t pick my little one up in my arms to give him a hug.
In a couple of days, I am scheduled to meet with my oncologist to discuss my chemo flavor. I am going to shave my head day-one of chemo because I can’t bear the thought of watching my hair fall out. Yes, I am sad. Yes, I am scared. Yes, I am only 27.
More importantly, yes, I can beat this. I am a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a teacher, a student and someone’s neighbor. This is my year-long journey through the storm. My hope is that my story will inspire other young women who are standing in the puddle — just like I am.
Welcome to my story.
During the year of 2011 and beyond, how do you plan to enforce your strength while standing in the puddle? Tell Jaime why it’s so important to acknowledge your diagnosis and still leave room for strength and prevail! Comment here or on our facebook page.