Nilsa Talks About the Difficulties of a Cancer Diagnosis


Nilsa Faces of Awareness

I never thought that at the age of 36 I would be diagnosed with breast cancer. I found a lump on my right breast on Mother’s Day 2017, and I instantly knew something wasn’t right. I talked with my husband and made the choice to get it checked out as soon as possible. We prayed as a family and knew that God had everything under control.

I went in and my doctor told me it was probably just a cyst, but that it was better to be safe than sorry. She ordered a mammogram just to be sure. She recommended the Jack and Mayora Rosenberg Women’s Health Center at Swedish Hospital. 

The mammogram was done in June. They saw a mass and ordered an ultrasound for the same day. They worked with me, my insurance and my doctor to get all of my paperwork in order. Leaving the hospital, I got a call for a biopsy. Things were moving pretty quickly. 

I was nervous and scared, not knowing what to expect. I’m so glad that Linda was there to literally hold my hand as I got the biopsy done. I had my results two days later and Linda helped me through the whole process, including setting up appointments with the surgeon and oncologist. I loved how Dr. Mizera listened to my concerns and looked out for my best interest. I had my port put in July and started chemo two weeks later. 

The Cancer Center at Swedish Hospital makes you feel like family. They treat you with care and listen to your concerns. Dr. Lambiase is a great doctor who really listened when things did not feel right. After having six chemo sessions, my lump was barely noticeable. 

The next step was to get a lumpectomy. Exactly 10 days later, I received the amazing news that I was cancer free. But my active treatment was not done yet. I still had six months of Herceptin to get through and 33 sessions of radiation. Radiation was the hardest part for me because it occurs every day and your body truly is exhausted. The staff was so understanding and caring and that helped me immensely. I finished my Herceptin treatments in July. 

This process was the hardest thing I ever had to do. I was able to get through it because of my faith in God and the constant help of my family and friends. I’m glad I didn’t let fear take over and listened to my body. I don’t want to think of what could have happened if I had just ignored the lump. 

Early detection most likely saved my life and can save many more. I was blessed enough that I was listened to and taken seriously. I was diagnosed and treated in a matter of weeks. Other women aren’t so lucky. 

Do not be afraid to be persistent when it comes to your health. You know your body. Do not let doubts be brushed off.

To schedule a mammogram, request an appointment or call 773-878-6888

Published October 1, 2018

Schedule a Mammogram
To schedule a mammogram, 
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or call 773-878-6888.

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