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My Story

Melissa | age 43
Lab Technician / Photographer
Casa Grande, AZ
12 years, 8 months since her MammoSite treatment.

My name is Melissa and I am 31 years old. In September of 2006 I was visiting my gynecologist for a post-op exam for a surgery that was done in August for something unrelated to breast cancer. My husband was with me at the time and told me to tell my doctor about the pain and nipple discharge on my left breast that I had been experiencing for a few weeks. I thought it was nothing. My doctor took a breast smear sample and sent it in to be tested. Several weeks went by and I didnít hear anything, so I thought I was ok. I figured I was too young anyway.

One morning at work I received a phone call from my doctorís office. I was told that based on the results of the breast smear I was going to have to have a mammogram and go to see a surgeon. Iíll never forget that day. I wasnít told that I had breast cancer, but I already knew. I went for a mammogram in October and it showed clustered calcifications in the upper outer quadrant. It was the area where I had been hurting. About a week later I had a needle core biopsy done. When I went to see the surgeon to go over the results I knew it wasnít good. He walked in and seemed a bit nervous. He told me that it wasnít very common for a 30 year-old to have breast cancer, but I did. He said the biopsy sample showed that it was malignant. He then explained the procedure that I would be having. He said that MammoSite was new. It sounded kind of cool. Five days of radiation instead of 6 weeks was great.

On November 13th I had a lumpectomy done by Dr. Edgar Hernandez. The first week after surgery was hard. I was so sore. I took pain meds to help out, but they made me sleep all day. I was vomiting for the first week and also running a very high fever. To top it ff, I came down with a bad cold that lasted for about three weeks. I started radiation with Dr. Olyejar one week after surgery. It just so happened that because of the holidays my five days of having the catheter in my breast turned into 17 days. I completed radiation on December 1st and my catheter was taken out. That same day Dr. Olyejar told me that the results from the lumpectomy showed that they were able to remove all the cancer. It was Ductal Carcinoma that I had. I was so lucky that it was caught as soon as it was.

I am now taking Tamoxifen. Unfortunately I had to have a hysterectomy before I could start taking it. My uterus was in bad condition and I had endometriosis. At this time I am trying to cope with the side effects of Tamoxifen and being forced into menopause. In about five months Iíll be having a mammogram done, and I pray that I can go back to my normal life.

This profile is solely the words of the person who received MammoSite Targeted Radiation Therapy to treat breast cancer. Note that this profile is specific to this particular person, and experiences will vary.