My Journey as a Breast Cancer Survivor
My name is Debbie Stallings and I’m the Business Director at Lakeview at Josey Ranch in Carrollton, Texas. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month which is near to my heart as I, myself am a breast cancer survivor.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2007 with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, grade 1-2, estrogen receptor positive. I was six months late for my mammogram, because I had canceled my original appointment for a non-important appointment and then had forgotten to reschedule. One night, I sat straight up in bed remembering I had never had my mammogram. A few weeks after my appointment, I was called back in to have further testing and the digital mammogram found one spot. I was then sent over for a breast MRI, which found two more spots.
At this point, a lumpectomy was not an option, so I was scheduled for a mastectomy. During my first surgery, eight lymph nodes were removed, and they were all clear. I am extremely proud to share that as of October 17, 2019, I am celebrating 12 years of being cancer-free. The breast MRI saved my life. Had those two spots not been found, they could have progressed.
I’m often asked how I got through that time and it wouldn’t have been possible without the loving support of my family and friends. My husband and two sons were an incredible support system for me. My husband was by my side at all of my appointments and surgeries. My mom also stayed with me for two weeks. She cared for me and did everything I couldn’t do. What would a girl do without the support and unconditional love of her mother? So many wonderful friends also brought meals over and offered encouragement.
If you are navigating a breast cancer diagnosis, my advice is to find support where you can be around other women in different phases of their journey. You are not alone in your diagnosis. Here at Lakeview at Josey Ranch, we have over 30 breast cancer survivors. They often meet to share their stories and celebrate their victory over the disease.
To find out more about our community, click here. Embrace adventure and experience wellness at Lakeview at Josey Ranch.
Lakeview at Josey Ranch held a Breast Cancer Awareness celebration on Tuesday, October 15, 2019, where residents shared stories of how they survived breast cancer and their journey along the way.