Mary Crawford: My Story
"I went for routine mammogram on Wednesday morning and received a call from my doctors office that afternoon stating you have a mass in your breast. I started the process ASASP, the next day I drove 3 hours to pick up my old mammograms, I didn’t want to wait a week for them to arrive. Friday morning was the ultrasound and Monday the breast biopsy. I then waited a week to get my results. When I got the call from my doctor telling me it was breast cancer, my heart dropped. I didn’t even cry (I cried later), I just said where do I go from here? Doctor said “ you need to see a surgeon”, I said “lets do this I want it done ASAP. By Friday, three days after getting my results, I was seeing the surgeon. The surgeon told me we can do a lumpectomy or remove the left breast all together. I said to the surgeon if I was your wife what would you do? He said, “take them both off, I love my wife and I wouldn’t want to lose her”.
That day I decided to go with a mastectomy. I just kept saying to myself stay strong and keep going. I was having my mastectomy within 4 weeks of my diagnosis. I went to see my surgeon days later after my surgery to find out my pathology report. I nervously waited as he read the results that they had found the cancer in the left breast along with a little dusting on the left lymph nodes. Several weeks later I went in and had my left arm lymph nodes removed per my oncologist and surgeon's advice. The results of lymph node surgery? All clear, no cancer. Next step was breast reconstruction, which I am currently finishing up.
Through all of this (1yr 4months), it has made me a better person to myself, I’ve learned to say “No” and not put up with anyone's crap anymore. I find I live a truer version of myself now. My biggest recommendation is to surround yourself with positive people. If you want to know how to help someone going through cancer, just ask them how can you can help. Everyone’s case is different and each person may need a different type of support. Finally, love yourself enough to get your yearly mammograms which I did every year."
What is some advice you'd like to share with our community?
"A nurse called me before I had my surgery and asked if I had any air fragrances, plug ins, scented candles or exposure to any synthetic fragrances, and if so, to get them out of the house immediately as they are very toxic. I told her no, I keep a clean house, meaning I choose to use natural products and don't use synthetic or toxic products. I just hope I can help someone with my story. We’re all here to help one another. If one person helps, just maybe.. someone else will follow."
- Mary Crawford