How I found strength during breast cancer treatment

When I received a phone call about an abnormality discovered during my mammogram in December 2016, I didn’t think much of it. I was prone to getting fluid-filled cysts in both my breasts, and I’d always gone in and had the cysts drained. But this mammogram was different: it showed a solid tumor in my right breast. I went in for a biopsy, and the results left me in shock. I really didn’t know how to accept my HER2-negative breast cancer diagnosis. Then I remembered my years as a single mother and the difficult months I’d spent caring for my husband, who’d died from colorectal cancer four years earlier. From these experiences, I knew I had the strength to face any challenge. I just needed to have faith and do whatever needed to be done to survive. For me, that meant returning to MD Anderson. My late husband received amazing care there, so I knew I could trust the doctors and staff with my life. My breast cancer treatment In January 2016, I scheduled my first appointment at MD Anderson in Sugar Land, the MD Anderson location closest to my home. My first conversation with Dr. Sadia Saleem assured me I was in the right place. After she went through my treatment options, she looked at me and said, “Leave this cancer to me. I’m going to treat you and take care of you. I want you to live your life.” When I started my chemotherapy regimen with Paclitaxel in March 2017, I did my best to keep my life as normal as possible. I scheduled my infusions on...