A Breast Cancer Survivor
Turning My Mess Into A Message
To my loving husband and friend Arlington Agard To my loving and wonderful deceased mother, Gladys Walrond and brother, Wayne Walrond To my father, Winston Walrond and eleven brothers and sisters
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A BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR
My Story of How I Choose to Turn My Mess into a Message
Dr. Jennifer Agard
TEN ROUNDS IN THE BOXING RING WITH THE BIG C (CANCER)
Faith defeats Fear
Makes Me a Winner
Stepping in the ring and facing cancer and all that comes with it.
Treatment Chemo Disease
Survivor Medicine Doctors
Breast Families Patients
ROUND 1: EARLY DETECTION
A routine visit to the gynecologist was the beginning of my ordeal with cancer. Dr. Khan performed the routine examination on me, after which he recommended that I had an MRI of my breast. I asked him, "Why should I have an MRI, Dr. Khan?"
He said, "Although, the GYN exams went well. I just want to make sure that we cover all grounds, since your mother died from breast cancer, and your younger sister is a breast cancer survivor."
So, I reluctantly made an appointment for an MRI test even though I had my regular mammogram test three months earlier. You see, since my mother died before the age of 50 years with breast cancer, I decided to have mammogram exams yearly at the age of thirty. Also, early breast examination has saved my sister's life.
At the age of thirty, she was diagnosis of breast cancer and treated with radiation. However, five years later, the cancer returned, and she was treated with seven weeks of radiation and thanked God, she is a survivor for sixteen years now.
It was time for me to go for an MRI test, and I was scared. As a lab technician and nurse prepared me for the test, I whispered a prayer to God to help me to relax through the procedure. As, I lay still in the MRI machine for what seemed like an hour, I heard the technician said, "Jennifer, the test is completed, and you did well. You can go now, and your doctor will contact you with the results."
A few days later, I received a call at my job from Dr. Khan to come into the doctor's office as soon as possible. I thought it must be serious for the doctor to ask me to come into his office immediately. I wonder, what is the matter? Oh, I hope all is well with me. Oh, God, please, please don't let me get cancer. I don't want to die. For help, I called my husband and told him of the doctor's request to meet us in his office to discuss my results.
Panicking, I left my office immediately and sped down the road, driving over the speed limit of 55 mph and hoping the police doesn't pull me over. A half-a-hour drive took me twenty minutes, and to my surprise, my husband was waiting for me there. As I was anxiously awaiting the doctor’s arrival in the waiting room, he opened the door and said, “Mr. and Mrs. Agard, How are you today?” “Come into my office.”
We stepped into the doctor's office and sat fearful to hear the news; it has to be bad news, if not, the doctor wouldn't have asked me to come into his office immediately. Then, the doctor opened my file and said, "Jennifer, the results from your MRI exams shows that you have breast cancer."
With the blood draining from my body; my mind went blank for a few minutes. It felt like fifteen minutes went by without me saying a word to the doctor or husband. I looked at my husband with his head in his hands and ridden with fear. He looked like someone had knocked him out cold.
Gazing into the doctor's face, and then to my husband's face, I said, "Breast cancer? Is that true?
He said, "Yes, Jennifer, I am sorry the results show positive for breast cancer, but it is in its early stage. I would advise you to set up an appointment with your primary doctor as soon as possible and be prepared for immediate surgery. Then he turned to my husband and said, "Mr. Agard, you need to make sure that your wife gets the surgery for the breast cancer immediately."
So my husband asked, "Can you recommend the best surgeon for the surgery?"
With a soft voice, the doctor said, "Here's a name of a great surgeon. I would use this specialist if my wife were diagnosed with breast cancer."