“In June 2016, I thought I found a lump on my left breast. I came in for an early mammogram and was told that although the lump I felt was normal, they had detected cancer in my right breast.
After I had a biopsy and they confirmed it was cancer, I had choices to make. I met with everyone and did my research. Because I am a former employee of UAMS, I am very devoted to UAMS. This is the place I was going to come. They put together a good team for me.
Since breast cancer runs in my family, I decided to have a double mastectomy. I didn’t want to run the risk of having it again. I had a 12-hour surgery with Dr. Ochoa performing my mastectomy and Dr. Wolter doing my reconstruction. Dr. Pennisi is my medical oncologist.
Telling my family was the hardest part. My husband was with me the whole way, but we kept it close to the vest until we knew exactly what was going to transpire.
The chemo was supposed to start right away after I was released from surgery, but I developed an infection. They had to schedule another surgery to correct that. Then, after I had my second chemo treatment, an underlying issue came out. That delayed everything much further.
I went into advanced tremors, was basically put in a wheelchair and couldn’t talk for three weeks. I lost 40 pounds. They admitted me to the UAMS Hospital where it was confirmed to be Parkinson’s. After about three and half weeks of medication, it’s now under control. I continue to see Dr. Dhall in the Movement Disorders Clinic.
The people here have been wonderful. I am such an advocate for UAMS. I really believe in the strength of teaching hospitals. The Cancer Institute is not a place I wanted to come, but it has been wonderful.”
Breast cancer survivor