October 13, 2020. My Cancer Story

Breast Health Night

October 13, 2020.

While this date may not stand out in your mind as anything special, it should, especially if you are a woman. This is the date of the Johnson County Healthcare Center's Breast Cancer Awareness Event at the Family Medical Center in Buffalo.

I have been a resident of Buffalo since 2017 and I have attended both the 2018 and the 2019 events and I won’t ever miss one if I can possibly help it, and Ladies, you shouldn’t either!

The following few paragraphs will tell you my reasons why I feel this way.

My journey

In 2016, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in my left breast after having a mammogram, an ultrasound, and a biopsy. It was identified as metastatic, but my oncologist and surgeon both thought that we had caught it early enough that after chemotherapy, a lumpectomy, and radiation everything would be fine and so it was, for a while..

I completed the radiation treatments during the summer of 2017, here at the Welch Cancer Center in Sheridan and as I said, everything was fine. I felt great, I enjoyed life with no signs of cancer until October of 2018.

Fortunately, the Breast Health Night was right around the corner

On a Thursday evening in October of 2018, I was undressing for bed when I noticed a rash on my left breast. It didn’t hurt, it didn’t itch, it was just there. I showed it to my husband and he and I decided the best course of action for the time being was to “watch it”. So “watch it” I did until the next Tuesday evening, which just happened to be the Breast Cancer Awareness

Event at the Family Medical Center in Buffalo.

I went to the event and explained the rash and my past history to the Physician Assistant that was to give me a physical breast exam. She looked at the rash, gave me the exam, and asked me to stay a little longer as she wanted Dr. Rice to come in and see me and my rash. Dr. Rice came in and examined me and asked me to come into her office the next day.

On Wednesday, she ordered a mammogram and an ultrasound and she did several biopsies of the “rashed area”. Since she couldn’t fit me into the schedule until 1:00 PM, the courier for Sheridan had already gone for the day. Chelsea, the same Physician Assistant that had examined me the evening before had the day off, however, she volunteered to come into work and drive my tissue samples to Sheridan herself! The results of the biopsies came back the next day, Thursday, to Dr. Rice.

I received that call...

Dr. Rice called me and needless to say, it was not good news. This was another form of metastatic breast cancer, completely different than my first bout with this thing called cancer! Dr. Rice had already been on the phone with my oncologist in Arizona and she advised me to get on a plane to Tucson to see Dr. Madani as quickly as possible. That all took place on Thursday and I was on a plane to Tucson on Friday with an appointment with Dr. Madani scheduled for 9:00 AM Monday morning.

Since then

Since that Monday morning in October of 2018, I have had a double mastectomy and completed another round of chemotherapy just this past June. I am currently scheduled to see the oncologist on November 10, 2020, to hopefully get an “all clear” once again. I am still under the care of both the oncologist and a plastic surgeon. I have chosen to go the route of reconstruction, which hopefully will be completed by January 2021.

Now, why am I telling you all of this? The reason is to encourage you to attend the Breast Cancer Awareness Event at the Johnson County Health Family Medical Center! Dr. Rice and this event that she started has saved my life and maybe, just maybe, it will save yours too. Even if you have no “lumps or bumps” or anything else weird, go anyway! It will bring you peace of mind and a good feeling about the Great Medical Staff that we have here in Johnson County! We are indeed fortunate to have them and to know that they have our back and our front too!

I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, October 13, 2020, between 5:30 and 7:30 at the clinic! I wouldn’t miss it for the world and you shouldn’t either!

Barbara Krieg