During the entire month, when you see one of our employees wearing pink booties be sure to snap a picture. Then share your picture on Facebook with the tags #coveredforthecause and #baileyscomfortcares. For every picture, Shubee shoe covers will donate $1 to United in Pink AND Bailey's will donate $1 to Miracle Mile Walk/University Health Center.
One of our team members, Stephanie, has had her own breast cancer experience. Here is her story in her own words.
*40. I was 40 years old. In the blink of an eye I went from an 18-year-old girl to a 40 year old woman.
Ladies understand why “40” has an asterisk. It’s that age we are taught to dread. The stigmatized age where we turn into old maids.
For me, 40 felt pretty damn good. Gone was the insecurity of youth. In its place, I felt more empowered and more comfortable in my own skin than ever before! Sure, I could see the beginning effects of gravity on myself and the mirror’s reflection showed new lines, but life was great. Really, really, great.
My family was the center of my universe. I had a wonderful man who had been by my side for over 20 years and two young children that were responsible for some of the lines in my face. They were lines of laughter and smiles. I also had a job, volunteered at schools, organized home and bills, etc. All the important details of life.
During a routine appointment, my doctor told me it was time for my 1st mammogram screening. Having no family history or other risk factors associated with breast cancer, I added a mental reminder to my detail-filled life and did not think too much of it.
A year later at my next appointment, my doctor became quite adamant that we get a mammogram on the schedule. Dutifully, I obliged. One less detail, right?
My 1st mammogram screening was not the most pleasant experience but it wasn’t as horrid as I imagined. Once the screening was completed, the mammographer told me I should receive a letter in 7-10 days. It was good to know and I was soon back to my life of details….
I never got that letter. Instead about 3-4 days after my screening, my telephone rang. I needed to go back for more images. Any woman who has ever lived this knows the feeling that comes with “more images”. It was quickly apparent that they had found something. Time after time I was moved, arranged, while image after image was taken. Tears rolled from my eyes; the fear hit me.
The new imaging showed an issue in my right breast and I was referred to a breast surgeon. After reviewing my images, my doctor told me the next step was a core biopsy to determine exactly what was growing inside of my body. The core biopsy turned into an excision biopsy. The diagnosis? ADH, which is short for atypical ductal hyperplasia. It is a marker that places me at a significantly higher risk of developing breast cancer. The cells in my body could begin to mutate and “stack” at an abnormal rate at any moment. This is the root that marks all cancer.
In the beginning, I felt like I had a “cancer cloud” hanging over my head. Over time, I realized as paralyzing and fearful this “cloud” can be, I had the best team any woman could ever ask for on my side. The Center for Breast Health Services at University Hospital is hands down one of the best organizations in the breast cancer field. My breast surgeon, Matthew Pugliese, MD, along with his staff, kept my sanity intact. The entire Brown Radiology Team at University Hospital is outstanding by spotting the tiniest abnormality in my imaging and taking every precaution with my health.
For now, I gladly make sure I go to each and every mammogram. I cannot begin to stress to every woman the importance of this procedure. It can save your life and the lives of your loved ones. Early detection is essential and can potentially save much of your life.
The scariest part of my entire experience is how utterly minute the abnormality was in my breast. If I had waited until I could have felt, or seen, it, my prognosis would have been poor at best.
So, I will fight like a girl, for myself and all my sisters who are thriving and fighting. And I will gladly walk in memory of all those who have fought before me.
Click here for more details about the Miracle Mile Walk.