There it is again. I muttered to myself,
frustrated as I washed my arm. Every morning
for five or six days in the fall of 2003,
I noticed this rust-colored sticky stuff
that appeared in both drips and smears on
my left forearm and thigh. I had no idea where
it could be coming from.
Finally, on Sunday morning I found the answer.
My eyes followed my hand as I wiped the steam
from the bathroom mirror. Looking past my
fingertips, there it was. To my shock and horror,
the rust-colored sticky stuff easily dripped from
my left nipple.
In disbelief, I collapsed into my bedroom
chair, swirling with a mix of grief and fear.
I stared at the blank white wall, feeling
vacant, distant, disconnected from what I
had just seen in the mirror. All I heard
was that loud, penetrating silence that
surrounds and encompasses every thought
I called my doctor and was told that this
was not an emergency room issue, but did
need immediate attention. It could be cancer
or another of many health challenges.
Then, I began to wonder, what now?
What is next?
After an exam, the breast cancer specialist
made an appointment for that same afternoon
to have both a mammogram and an ultrasound.
They took two sets of two x rays on each breast
and a third x ray of a specific area of my
right breast. I realized I could have
two areas of concern, not just the one.
Next, was the ultrasound. I could see the
area of my breast where they had done the
extra mammogram. There was a dark mass which
had a very different pattern than the
rest of my breast. After the biopsy, I was
diagnosed with infiltrating ductile carcinoma,
a rare, aggressive, deadly cancer that can
quickly metastasize to the bones and lungs.
Next is death. I had symptoms of both bone
and lung cancer.
The ultrasound of my left breast showed a
trail of little beads. Masses unevenly lined
up from my underarm to my nipple. This could
not be good, I thought. These masses were
rubbing against several ducts, causing bleeding
and discharge. That was the rust-colored sticky
stuff. My left breast was diagnosed with a rare
hyperplastic disease involving multiple ducts.
My oncologist felt that I also had cancer in
this breast. She was deeply concerned, and
wanted to immediately remove the mass in my
right breast and cut off 1/3 or more of my left
breast. From now on, on medical history forms,
I would check the box for cancer.
Even before these diagnoses, I had already
decided that I did not want surgery. In my heart,
I really did not believe I would live through
a surgery, much less the chemotherapy
or radiation. I preferred an alternative
approach. I did have my health insurance to pay
for most medical expenses, but it did not cover
alternative therapies. Also, I had previous long
term health challenges. I wanted a fix,
not just a partial solution. I chose Mye Cell
treatments in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and worked
with Dr. Melenie Dunn, NMD in Scottsdale, AZ.
Her number is 480.556.6700.
I am now cancer-free.
I have the confirmed belief that each of
lifes moments hold a purpose and a gift.
There are no accidents. Nothing is random.
Lifes lessons come hand in hand with their
opportunities. I do not always remember to
live by these beliefs, but I do always come
back to them. I knew that this particular
lesson was about trust. It was about my
ability to trust. It was about my confidence in
myself. My confidence in God. The lesson was
about realizing, knowing with every breath
and every beat of my heart,
that I Am Blessed. We All Are.
Doreene Clement, a cancer victor and author
of The 5 Year Journal, is currently writing
a new book, Blessed, about her life and her
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