Miranda Sumblin aka “Tricck”
My story is similar to most who find out that they have been diagnosed with breast cancer. It has taken me this long to sit and actually put into words what I have felt since being diagnosed.
After retiring from the military with twenty-six years of service, I was well on my way to a second career as a contractor and anticipating my son’s upcoming graduation from high school.
I was diagnosed on Dec 8, 2006 with CA Female Breast, Infiltrating Ductal Stage 2 (stage II breast cancer). Prior to getting the official diagnosis, I visited my primary care doctor with concerns about the change in my breast. The right breast was hard. Although I didn’t feel a lump, I knew something wasn’t right. In addition, I felt occasional shooting pains. My primary physician examined me and told me to schedule my yearly mammogram, in that it was soon due. I did so and was told that I needed to have a second mammo for a closer look. The second showed small calcifications not seen on the mammo the previous year. I was then told that I needed to have a biopsy. If I wasn’t worried before, I certainly was now. Calcifications and biopsy, these words just didn’t seem too positive.
I did the biopsy and waited anxiously for several days for the results. I received a phone call at work and was told that I had stage II breast cancer. Life changed for me that day. My entire life flashed before me. I had always wanted to have a military funeral and be buried in my military dress uniform. It didn’t matter if they cut the back out, not one would see it anyway. I thought, on my God, I wouldn’t see my son graduate. He was now a senior in high school and would graduate in May. Maybe I can hold on until May. Who’s going to help him get his college applications completed? What will my husband do, my mother will be sooo lonely without me.
Once I regained composure, I began to think clearly. The medical field has come a long way since women years ago were diagnosed with cancer. Get a grip, make an appointment and find out where do you go from here. I remember growing up in the south were the work cancer was not even said aloud. Either it was whispered or simply referred to as the “Big C”.
I immediately called my husband and we agreed that I should have the entire breast removed for fear of the cancer spreading into the other breast. After calling him, I called my mother and my closest friends. Often people don’t know what to say when you tell them you have cancer. Some say, “I’m sorry”, or look at you not knowing what to say; some just give you a hug. Many attempt to reassure you that everything will be all right.
Well now that I had my diagnosis, it was time for a plan action involving of course my surgeon and the plastic surgeon. The real roller coaster ride began. I was given the options and also told that if cancer was found, I would not be able to have an implant immediately. I often remember the words my surgeon told me “I know it’s hard, but it’s about you now” and that’s how I began to see life.
My surgery was scheduled for Jan. 2, 2007. I was overwhelmed with the information. There were so many medical terms, literature to read, preparations to be made. Everything was moving so fast.
I had twenty-seven lymph nodes removed, some were found to be cancerous, this meant no implant at this time. I began chemotherapy on Feb. 15, 2007. Chemo is similar to giving birth, no one can really describe how it feels, you have to actually experience it and it effects everyone differently. The hair loss and the nausea were the worst. For me each day that went by meant that it would soon be over.
After taking chemo once per month for four months, I than began a cycle of once per week for three weeks with one week off. After the chemo ends in August, I will be taking radiation for thirty days and again chemo until May 08. My bad days are good and my good days are better. I thank God each day. I am grateful for the support of my friends and family for they have truly been wonderful throughout my ordeal.
I began to ride my 2005 Harley Sporster in May, due to my surgery and I am the secretary of our newly formed motorcycle club “Nice & Nasty” which keeps me pretty busy. Each day is a blessing. I never said, “why me” because God does not make mistakes. I am well on my way to recovery and living life to its fullest. I am happy to share my story with others who also have been stricken with this terrible disease. My prayers go out to all of you.
MIRANDA D. SUMBLIN
Miranda, mother of Garrik and wife of Gary passed on September 17, 2009.