The Ottumwa Courier

October 8, 2012

The journey can be a difficult process


submitted

SIGOURNEY — Editor’s Note: The Courier asked cancer survivors and/or family members to share their stories during October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

A few people have written to tell of their experiences.

We thank all the people who participated. As many of you said, you want others to know about the experience and to always have hope.

Their stories will run often this month.




My name is Julie Klein and i am from Sigourney. On Oct. 13, 2010, I was diagnosed with early stage 2 hormone positive breast cancer. I was not very compliant with monthly breast exams. I did, however, go and get my yearly mamogram.

I had no family history of breast cancer. I have two daughters and one son. My husband was my rock. I stayed strong and positive, with the nagging voice “you could die from this” everyday! I started chemo that December, after having a lumpectomy. I went through 12 weeks of chemo — a treatment once every three weeks. A total of four treatments follwed by eight weeks of radiation. Radiation burn was sooo much harder on me at that time than the chemo. Following the radiation, I was put on a five-year follow-up oral treatment. I kept hearing the nagging voice in my head: “They never got it all.” I did monthly breast exams every day and noticed something changed in the same right breast that was first diagnosed. I called my surgeon, who examined me, and said he would have a mamogram and ultrsound scheduled ASAP. He would go with my gut feeling. On the fifth of July, I got the report back and i was right. The cancer was there. My option at that time was a double mastectomy followed with breast reconstruction with implants that same week. I then was to start chemo again in September ... my left breast surgery sight got infected and i had to go back in for surgical cleaning in early August. I started my second round of chemo in September ... it was sooo much harder than the first. I was to go through 12 weeks of chemo, but was only able to do eight weeks. I reacted to the chemo drug this time with very painful, swollen joints and opted to quit the treatment. Since then I have not been able to be started on a five-year oral treatment. Unfortunately my body has been through so much that it has reacted to every med that the doctors have tried. Everything has been going better and hopefully in October, I will be able to start this next journey.

Julie Klein

Sigourney