lock out women's cancer campaign- jennifer jones journey
In her own words..
Written by Julianna Bonnett
It’s been more than a decade, but I will never forget finding “this little lump” in my right breast.
For anyone who knows me, it should have been my left breast because I am far more liberal in my thinking, but there it was.
I had just lathered up and could feel it on the outer right side. I washed the soap away and it was gone. Rinse and repeat, several dozen times before calling to my husband and asking him if he could feel it. It felt like a small pea somewhat close to the surface.
I went through the same lathering routine with my physician husband standing beside the tub. “It feels like a cyst, but you should get it checked out”.
And that’s how the rest of the year began to unfold.
I had already had a mammogram eight months earlier, surely that would have detected something? I went for an ultrasound. The tech left the room and came back and said, “the doctor doesn’t like the look of this, can we do a biopsy? We can do it right now or you can schedule to come back?”
Who was going to wait, not me. I wanted to know what he saw that he “didn’t like”.
I remember walking out of the hospital that day and feeling like I was in an alternate universe. This couldn’t be part of my plan. I have big plans.
The painful part, and I don’t mean the real physical pain, was the wait. How could hours, days, weeks seem so incredibly long, waiting for the results.
Those results came home (literally), the day my husband walked in the door - he simply looked at me and I knew.
Now what? Oddly enough, that is when I became more grounded, more focused. Once I knew what it was, and had a plan, it was time to work the plan. First a lumpectomy, eight rounds of chemo, twenty-one rounds of radiation and a repeat lumpectomy for good measure (the margin wasn’t clear on the first surgery months earlier).
I find myself sharing this story far too often. Mostly to women in the interminable and agonizing wait for their results. But I also share it now because I believe it provides hope – “if she can do it, so can I”.
I remember very clearly how much it meant to me for other women to reach out and say - I am five years, I am eighteen years, I am thirty years. Because - if she could do it, so could I.
That was eleven years, and seven months ago (insert days and minutes)…but who’s counting?