When I turned 40, I got my first mammogram. I went each and every year - never missing an appointment. During one routine screening, Charlotte Radiology identified some calcifications. These calcifications were closely followed by 6-month checkups to keep an eye on any suspicious changes.
In 2004, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was 53 years old. Although the cancer was found very early on, I thought my life was ending.
One of the first people I reached out to was a friend at church who was a breast cancer research specialist with Blumenthal Cancer Center. She was not only a great support, but she armed me with information and connected me with Dr. Richard White, my surgeon. Because of my early diagnosis, I only needed a lumpectomy and did not have to undergo chemo or radiation. I felt so fortunate.
Throughout the years, I have talked with many women in my neighborhood, church and have also spoken at several educational events held by Charlotte Radiology. It's the best way I can help spread the word about the importance of early detection and how joyous life can be after breast cancer.