Share Your Story: Penny Pearson
Breast Cancer Story
Hi my name is Penny Pearson. This year will be my 6th time doing the walk and I think it's the greatest experience. This is my story:
In February 2004 I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 26. Being fortunate enough to catch it early with only minor surgeries, I only had to do the necessary treatments to keep me healthy and hopefully cancer free. Four months after being diagnosed I began chemotherapy. I continued that for 2 months and through the process lost all my hair. I had a month off and then started into radiation. I did that five days a week for 2 months. Through it all I continued to work at my job, taking off only the days needed for treatments and days of illness. Through the love of my family and friends I was able to get through this with many smiles and only happy thoughts. I feel inner strength can get you through anything.
In November 2007 I went for my yearly MRI testing. I got called back to do a mammogram and ultra sound. That then lead to me needing an MRI biopsy. Waiting those 2 weeks during the Christmas holidays to get results were very hard on me, my friends and my family. I finally went to get the results and brought my best friend Cindy. It wasn't the news we wanted to hear. My cancer had came back after only being in remission for 3 years. This time I had no other choice but to have a mastectomy.
I am now only 30 years old. At that time it was my decision and only mine, if I wanted to do just the one breast or both. It was an easy one, I wanted them to remove both. I did not want to have to worry the next 3 years if it would come back in the other breast and even worse, have it spread through my body. My surgery date was Februaru 25, 2008 and I had nothing but the best support ever from family and friends.
How do you prepare for such a life changing experience? It's simple, you can't. I just kept positive through my decisions and knowing I was given a choice at least. A choice and a chance to live, that's all that mattered. Each day gets better and I have kept my head high through it all. I still smile each day knowing that I will be ok. My last surgery was October 2008 and it was a breeze this time. The final stage I have been looking forward to through this all. All other tests came back negative, meaning the cancer didn't spread. I have returned back to work and back to "normal" life. Hopefully with no more surgeries in my future and cancer free.
I have never felt so loved and lucky in my life. Lucky that I have such great support from everyone around me. That is what keeps me waking up each morning with a smile, no matter how hard the pain is. I know I will get through this, just like I did the first time I was diagnosed. I refuse to let this cancer get me anymore, I will never give up the fight!