OCTOBER IS NATIONAL BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH (NBCAM)
STORY #3 ~ LISA CORDER
I felt a lump in my breast. I was diagnosed with an aggressive Stage 2 breast cancer the summer of 2001.
I was 42 years old.
I had a mastectomy on my left breast in September 2011 and was on the couch recovering and watching 9/11 unfold. My tragedy didn’t seem so bad! I had a great oncology team: No. County Oncology in Oceanside, CA. I had 8 months of chemotherapy, lost my hair and had every possible side effect, and some side effects they had never seen before!
I worked 3 weeks per month and would take a week off when I would have my chemo. I tried to wear a wig, preferred going bald or wearing hats and scarves. While I don’t have a photo to share, I looked good with no hair! In addition to traditional medicine, I also did meditation and yoga. I had an excellent support system. My children were my motivation to stay positive and not give up. I had 28 days of radiation and it really damaged my skin.
MY RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY!
I began reconstructive surgery and because my skin was so damaged, there were many complications. After 14 reconstructive surgeries and several infections, including one that kept me in the hospital for a week, I decided I had enough! I never did get a nipple, but just having something that fits in a bra is ok with me!
I am a 12 year survivor and I recently found out that I do not have the BRCA gene, so my kids and grandkids have less to worry about! I have a wonderful life and I feel that while having cancer is a horrible thing, a lot of good came out of it for me! Staying strong, positive and focused helped me through it. I never thought I was going to let cancer win!
MY ADVICE TO OTHER WOMEN
Try to live as normal of a life as possible. Stay strong, positive and focused. Have a good support system!