Something is filling.
I am a nurse specialist and Army better half living with phase 4 metastatic breast cancer. I dont let my diagnosis specify me, but I am sharing my story now in the hopes that it might assist in saving another life.I had my first symptom of breast cancer when I was 25 years old. As a nurse, I knew that the nipple discharge I was experiencing wasnt typical. I went to the doctor, but I was told not to stress over it– I was too young for breast cancer. Come back if the discharge becomes bloody, they said.Over the next 6 years my symptoms intensified, but still my treatment was either rejected or delayed. I had uncomfortable periods and more nipple discharge. I was diagnosed with a dilated breast duct but told it wasnt anything to be concerned about.Things kept worsening, and my signs were downplayedI developed cysts in my breasts. One cyst was bigger; I might feel it with my fingers, so I asked for a mammogram. My physician said no. Once again I was informed that I was too young. They believed it was a benign cyst anyway.
I do not know if its due to the fact that my symptoms began when I was young or if its since Im Black. Im attempting not to concentrate on the why, but rather on whats next for me. Im not informing my story to call or harm out my previous doctors. Im trying to prevent this from occurring to anybody else.Its so crucial to listen to your body and to advocate on your own. Request for a patient supporter– theyre there to eliminate for you and assist you make sense of medical lingo and diagnoses. Bring a good friend to your visits. Bear in mind. Tape-record your appointments so you can listen back to them later when youre in a much better mental place.Ive accepted my mortality.I understand that Im probably going to die of this one day– I understand it. Till then, Im going to keep speaking up. If we keep having these conversations we can move that needle and lower the number of deaths, perhaps.
Shonte Drakeford, 37, is a nurse specialist coping with phase 4 metastatic breast cancer.
When she got her medical diagnosis, her cancer had actually metastasized to her lungs, spinal column, ribs, and hips.
This is her story, as told to Jamie Orsini.
Ultimately I had surgical treatment to get rid of the dilated breast duct. Medical professionals could have biopsied my cyst during that surgical treatment, however they picked not to. For practically a year after that surgical treatment, that cyst gave me really extreme pain. It ended up being hard. Again I went to the doctor, and once again I was told it wasnt anything to stress over. It was simply scar tissue, they said.During this time, my husband was serving in the Army. I saw medical professionals in Alaska, Georgia, and Washington state. This wasnt just one physician who missed the indications– it was lots of. After six years we moved to my hometown of Washington, DC. I started receiving my healthcare at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, whichs where I was finally diagnosed.All at the same time I got the tests I had been requesting for years: an MRI, a mammogram, an ultrasound, a biopsy. The results verified that I had cancer. My physicians screened my entire body and discovered that cancer had already infected my ribs, spine, hip, and lungs. I had stage 4 metastatic breast cancer.I felt like I had actually not done enoughI asked my doctor if I had actually not done enough. I seemed like I did what I was expected to do: I took note of my body, I went to the physician each time I was worried, I requested for all the tests. My physician informed me I did everything right. I just slipped through the cracks of the system.
I went to the doctor, but I was told not to fret about it– I was too young for breast cancer. I was detected with a dilated breast duct but told it wasnt anything to be worried about.Things kept getting even worse, and my signs were downplayedI established cysts in my breasts. Once again I went to the medical professional, and again I was informed it wasnt anything to fret about. My doctors evaluated my whole body and discovered that cancer had already spread out to my ribs, spinal column, hip, and lungs. I had stage 4 metastatic breast cancer.I felt like I had actually not done enoughI asked my doctor if I had actually not done enough.