I am neither a Facebook nor a Twitter user, and I certainly have never written a blog post before. I am much more comfortable with the spoken word. But I was asked to write this. So here I am; please bear with me.
By way of introduction, my name is Loretta and I am one of four CareCoaches at the Baptist Health Breast Center. I have worked at Baptist Health for 25 years, and I am a registered radiological technologist and mammographer. Not only have I performed thousands of mammograms, I have also assisted the radiologists in performing breast biopsies. So as you can see, I am very familiar with the business of breasts.
Then one day in July 2004, I became one of “my patients.” A little enhancing mass (a nodule that lights up on an MRI) showed on my MRI and I needed a biopsy. I wasn’t nervous because I was on hormone replacement therapy at the time and was convinced that if I stopped the therapy, the mass would go away.
The radiologist felt otherwise, and I’m glad she did because I was speechless. As I held the pathology report in my hand I thought: “What is wrong here? This report has my name on it.” It was a very strange feeling indeed.
After seeing and hearing the news, I acted no differently or any braver than any of my patients. We are all sisters in this craziness known as breast cancer, and we are here to hold on and hold each other up, as we follow our journey to survive and thrive.
As I write this, I am watching the 2014 Winter Olympics, and I feel we need to stand on that podium as survivors too. Perhaps we should have a survivors’ podium at our survivorship program (just a thought).
I believe God places us all in each others path for a reason. I hope and pray my presence in my patients’ lives, for whatever time we share, has provided a guiding hand and an understanding heart.
Stay strong and be healthy.
PLEASE JOIN THE CONVERSATION
As a part of our mission to make The Journey a powerful voice for everyone in our community, we invite each of you to consider joining the conversation and sharing your journey with comments and feedback. You don’t have to be a breast cancer survivor, you can be a caregiver, or a friend, or a concerned citizen. What we are looking for is meaningful and helpful conversations that will encourage other people as they travel along their journey. Sharing is caring and very cathartic. I sincerely urge you to take part.
Each year, breast cancer claims the lives of nearly half a million moms, daughters, sisters, wives, best friends, even husbands and sons. Help us bring hope and the promise of a healthier future to those affected by breast cancer. Together, we can help families across South Florida celebrate many more beautiful tomorrows together.