“In March of 2011, I received the most devastating news a person can receive from their doctor. I was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer (Invasive Ductal Carcinoma). I was at work at SunTrust when I received the news, and you can imagine how I felt. I was oblivious to the treatment for breast cancer. I just thought it was a death sentence because my cousin passed away from the disease back in the early 90s.
My journey began with a biopsy to ensure what type of cancer I had and determine the right treatment plan. I then had an MRI and the process of my treatment began. The treatment started with two lumpectomy surgeries to remove the tumor; however, the cancer was still there so I opted to have a mastectomy. After that surgery I had to have chemo all while still working full time at SunTrust. Yes, my hair fell out and I wore a wig cut just like my regular haircut so many people did not know what I was going through. Only a handful of my co-workers knew about my illness. I was hospitalized one time during my chemo treatment because my white blood cell count dropped drastically. After chemo, I was informed by my doctors that I should have radiation since my tumor was so large. This was another devastating setback because I was originally told that my treatment would not require radiation. I remained determined to do all I could to fight this dreaded disease, so I started six weeks of radiation treatment all while still working full time. I had another setback and was hospitalized again because I caught an infection, but I continued to be determined to win this fight.
After all the chemo and radiation, I had two more reconstruction surgeries, but now I can tell you I am so blessed to be alive to tell my story and bring awareness to women. Please get your required mammograms on an annual basis. If it was not for me receiving yearly mammograms I probably would not be here today to tell my story.
Cancer treatment is a journey with so many unexpected turns, but you have to stay positive through your ordeal. I thank God and my prayer warriors that were with me every step of the way to get me through this trying time.”
Veronica Rackard, SunTrust. To share your story, anonymously or not, visit bit.ly/PTCpink