I'm a Survivor!
I am a Breast Cancer Survivor!
Thank you for taking steps against breast cancer. All proceeds from the Walk for Life and Famously Hot Pink Half Marathon, 5K & 10K will benefit Prisma Health Breast Center in the Midlands. Your contribution is greatly appreciated.
My Personal Web Log
Don't Neglect the Girls
Don't Neglect the Girls!
March 16, 2020 schools were shut down because of COVID. Just as I was finishing the mass craziness of checking out laptops, getting kids books and personal items from their desks, returning emails and phone calls, my phone rang.
"Mrs. Scandrol, this is (so and so) from Prisma Health Baptist Hospital. We are calling to schedule a diagnostic mammogram. The radiologist received your films from Florence and saw something on your mammogram and he wants to take a closer look. When can you come in?"
"Well, it looks like my schedule just opened up! When do you want me?"
"How is Thursday the 19th at 7:30 in the morning?"
"Ok, see you then." I wasn't worried. Dense breasts usually require a diagnostic mammogram. No biggie. I had needed a diagnostic mammogram in 2015. Nothing to worry about. Besides, I was too busy thinking about how I was going to teach virtually.
I showed up early on the 19th because I wanted to make sure I could get online with my students. All went well with the mammogram, but the radiologist wanted an ultrasound, too. After the mammogram and ultrasound the radiologist actually walked in and performed another ultrasound. "Mrs. Scandrol, there is a spot I would like to have biopsied."
"Ok, when can we do that? My schedule seems rather flexible at the moment," I quipped.
"How about Tuesday the 24th at 11:00?"
"Ok. I can make that work!" I still wasn't worried. My grandmother had a biopsy that was nothing. Women have biopsies all the time. I didn't have time to think because I had to figure out how to teach virtually.
I spent the rest of the week and weekend figuring out how I was going to teach online. We were all in emergency teaching mode. Tuesday came and I had the biopsy. It wasn't painful. They said I would have the results by Thursday or Friday. I still wasn't worried. I went about my day and hopped online with my students. I was honestly too busy to think about much more. I mean, the world was falling apart.
The next day, as I was getting ready to get online with my students, my phone rang. I didn't recognize the number, but I thought it might be a parent having technical trouble so I answered.
"Hello, this is Danielle Scandrol," I was trying to sound professional from my make-shift home-office.
"Danielle, this is Ashley Jeffords from Palmetto Health."
Without thinking I slowly sat down; my knees trembled. A lump grew in my throat while my heart fell to the abyss of my belly. It was only Wednesday. Why was she calling? I was befuddled, but she didn't have to say anything; I knew by the uneasiness of her voice.
"Danielle," as she seemed to hold back tears, "we have the results of your biopsy. I'm so sorry. We found invasive lobular carcinoma.You have breast cancer"
My voice cracked as I asked her to wait until I could get my husband. Somehow, strength returned to my legs and I dashed up the stairs where Matt was on a video call. Sensing the urgency in my voice and the panicked look on my face he quickly ended the call. "Ashley, can you repeat what you said."
"Your biopsy showed invasive lobular carcinoma. You have breast cancer. It appears small. Do you have a primary care doctor?"
Through a shaky voice and tears I choked out, "No. We just moved here. You were the first doctor I saw. What do I do? Where do I go?" She sensed my angst and confusion.
"Danielle, I'll take care of you. I'll take care of you." Those words leveled a calm over me. I could feel her sincerity, compassion, kindness, and understanding in her voice. She understood.
"Ashley, who do you recommend? I don't know anyone in Columbia."
"Someone will be in touch with you within a few hours. It's gonna be ok. We're going to take care of you. We caught this early."
Needless to say, online learning was not going to happen that day. In less than an hour I had a case manager who called and set-up an appointment with Dr. Harris Parker for the very next day. Because of COVID and the cancellation of elective surgeries, Dr. Parker's schedule was clear. (That was a God thing!). I saw him the very next day after I was diagnosed. Because of COVID it was just God and me who walked into Dr. Parker's office that day.
Before I knew it we had a plan. That plan involved genetic testing, MRI's, an appointment with an oncologist, and back to Dr. Parker to schedule surgery. I had a lumpectomy on April 13, 2020-the day before my 44th birthday. After surgery, 2 iron infusions, and a breast infection all while quarantining and trying to figure out how to teach online and remain COVID free; I began 20 rounds of radiation which I finished on July 15, 2020.
On Monday, September 15, 2020, I had my 1st mammogram since my treatment. And then on Tuesday, September 16, 2020, I had my first follow-up with my oncologist. Instead of seeing my oncologist though, I saw her PA for the first time. She said what I needed to hear.
"Your scans were great and so is your blood work. We now consider you a breast cancer survivor."
I've always donated when asked, but this time it's personal. Please consider joining a Walk for Life in your area or consider making a donation to continue to help benefit Prisma Health Breast Center in the Midlands. They saved my life!
by Danielle Scandrol on Sat, Sep 19, 2020 @ 5:56 PM
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