Writer, mother, wife, volunteer, and survivor: PJ Hamel is an expert on HealthCentral’s breast cancer site, bringing her stories, wisdom and optimism to the site’s thriving community. Read part of PJ’s courageous story of battling breast cancer below, and be sure to connect with her to learn more.
Bad mammogram, ultrasound, needle biopsy, “I’m sorry I don’t have better news for you…” I had a lumpectomy, and when that didn’t do the trick, a mastectomy and reconstruction. A lymph node was involved: chemotherapy. Cancer had spread out of the node: radiation. More nodes were sampled during surgery: lymphedema. Hey, why not go the whole nine yards, enjoy the entire cancer experience? Heck, I even came down with pneumonia at the nadir of chemo treatment, when it had killed not only cancer cells, but my heroic white blood cells as well. I finally managed to emerge intact from the sterile hospital room where everyone who entered wore a mask, and even flowers couldn’t come in: too many germs! I dragged a hissing oxygen tank around with me all through Christmas that year.
Now, 7 years after treatment, I have a new head of curly hair, and a new life. Read more of PJ’s story…Print