The Breast Blog Ever has just become a reality! Yay!
My name is Kris Beauchamp and it has been in my heart as well that of Dr. Edibaldo Silva, my surgical oncologist, to collaborate on this blog! Dr. Silva comes at this from a medical perspective, of course, but his heart is full of compassion for the many patients he treats.
I’ve got years of first hand experience – both my grandmother and mother succumbed to cancer so I feel unusually qualified to discuss this topic, since I’ve lived through it vicariously and then personally, twice.
In November of 1999, at the age of 38, I learned that I had breast cancer. Thankfully it was a small, very slow-growing type that we found early. After a lumpectomy and chemotherapy followed by radiation therapy, I was back on the road of life enjoying every minute. My heart was bursting with joy and gratitude.
Five years later, in December of 2004, I got slammed with the horrendous news that I had cancer again! No, it hadn’t metastasized. I had an entirely different kind of breast cancer in the other breast! It was large and aggressive. This time I knew what I was facing and dreaded it with my whole being. Even then, I had no idea how much more difficult it was going to be.
I contacted the surgeon who had worked with me the first time, as the oncologist I’d worked with before was out-of-town. After a barbaric procedure, (which I learned after the fact, shouldn’t have been performed on me at all) and several unprofessional, rude, arrogant and shaming comments later, I knew I needed a different doctor!
Miraculously, I found Dr. Silva. He was everything a doctor was supposed to be. He listened to me. (Imagine that!) He examined me while allowing me to keep my modesty and dignity. He wasn’t arrogant but was both understanding and professional.
Dr. Silva told my husband and me at our first appointment that if we decided to work with him, we needed to know that this was an ongoing relationship. Dr. Silva would work with me aggressively to destroy the cancer and to save my life, but once we won that battle, he would still be in the picture! There would be regular follow-up to keep a close eye on my health.
Well, wouldn’t you know, if ever a woman was the poster-child of everything that could go wrong, it was me. Not because of the doctors, but just because. Sometimes there are no reasons.
Thankfully, Dr. Silva is not a quitter; he’s a hard worker, researching continually. He is up-to-date in his methods and treatments. He’s brilliant, yet approachable. Such an uncommon combination. I felt so blessed to have had him take me on.
That was six years and two months ago! I’m alive! I’m well! And I am a living encouragement to those who fear the ‘C word’. Now I’m the poster child for someone who beat cancer against the odds! I’m proof they don’t need to fear, but they do need to arm themselves with knowledge. There is absolutely no way we can know or even begin to understand everything there is to know about breast cancer, but knowing someone who does know and understand just about everything is the next best thing!
That is why this blog has come to be. We are here to discuss topics relevant to breast cancer treatment and survival, in medical terms as well as in lay-person-speak! We hope this blog will be a useful tool for you. I know from personal experience that you can have peace even in the midst of facing cancer, because I wasn’t facing it alone. You can have peace as well, because you won’t be facing it alone either, we’re with you.