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Sisters’ Journey Survivor of the Month – Patricia Royal
Read her story (thanks www.sistersjourney.org)
“God is Working for My Good” is the motto I have chosen for my journey. I am Patricia Royal, and I live in Northfield, New Jersey. I was born January 9, 1944. I was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer in April 2022. Having said that, I had lived cancer free for 78 years. My cancer was 100 percent treatable and believed to be 100 percent curable because of early detection. I always had my annual mammogram and was consistent in doing self-breast examinations.
In January 2010, I was sent for an ultrasound and MRI because I had dense breast tissue.
Every year thereafter, my annual mammogram was normal until April 2022 when it was a different story. Following my annual mammogram that year, there was a follow-up ultrasound and biopsy. This led to the dreaded words: “It is cancerous.”
I didn’t have to go at it alone. I had a good friend who had gone through it some years earlier. She was with me for my initial visits until my sister could arrive. My sister lived in California and had planned to come to New Jersey in October 2021, but changed her visit until January 2022. In January she changed her visit until April. God was working for my good. He knew when I would need her the most. My surgery was scheduled for May. When my sister had to leave, my son was able to come from Virginia to be with me for surgery and recovery.
Since I was post-menopausal, the diagnosis was in my favor. The cancer did not have hormones to feed off and it had not spread. I did not have to do chemotherapy. However, I did have to undergo radiation. The process was 10 doses over a five-day period. I went for radiation twice a day. A contura applicator was inserted in my breast to target the area and I had to keep it in place for five days during which I could not shower. I had to be very careful not to let it move. When I went for my treatments, I was attached by what was referred to as the key and that would connect me to the machine.
The preparation leading up to the surgery (a lumpectomy), was demanding. It included an MRI, a bone density test, an echocardiogram, doctor visits, sterile baths and blood work, but it was worth it. Post surgery was demanding, but also welcomed. My follow-up tests – first every three months, then every six months – have all been negative.
When I look back, I realize I was so blessed. I did not have to do any of my initial visits alone. Someone was always there with me. They could take notes for me as the doctors were talking. I was able to drive myself to treatments and follow-up visits. My family, my church family and Delta Sorors surrounded me with an outpouring of love.
To all women, you are my “Sister,” and one “Sister” to another, do not neglect to get your mammogram. Self-examination is not enough. I never felt a lump in my breast. Early detection yields the best cure. I am now in recovery via hormone therapy for five years. This is the story of my journey and that is how “God is Working for My Good.”
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