I want to share with you my journey this past few months with Breast Cancer.
It all started when I was home and felt a sharp pain in my right breast area, and when I rubbed my breat area in a circular motion. I was surprised when I felt three lumps near the nipple area. At first, I was going to ignore the lumps. I then followed my gut feeling and called to make a doctor's appointment to have it checked. At that point I had not expected to find out it was anything to be concerned about.
My doctor referred me to get a biopsy done that week, which I scheduled for Friday Feb. 12th, 2016. This was my first experience having a biopsy done, and I didn't know what to expect. I was worried, but at the time didn't feel as though it was anything to worry about. I continued my weekend as usual with not worrying about the results.
The doctor called Monday, but silly me didn't answer the call. So, Tuesday morning came and the phone rang at 7am...the results were in. I was awake, but still sleepy when I answered the phone. The nurse informed me that the biopsy was positive for breast cancer! When I heard the word "CANCER" I immediately woke up and asked the nurse to repeat it again, which she did. It took me a while for it to sink in that I had Breast Cancer. I am a man, I didn't think men could get Breast Cancer. I was wrong!
I was referred to the Jane Bratton Breast Cancer Center at Park Nicollet, where I worked with a team of doctors and nurses. The first meeting eye-opening and emotional, the thought never crossed my mind that I would have to have surgery. I only had two options, and they both involved surgery. One option being a mastectomy and the other a lumpectomy with radiation. My initial thought was to do the lumpectomy, which seemed less invasive. But, the surgeon thought that the mastectomy would be a better option for my situation. This really scared me, I was thankful to have my wife by my side for support.
The surgeon wanted to get more information about the type of cancer and how aggressive the cancer was progressing. Over the next couple of weeks I underwent many tests to figure out the genetic make up of the cancer cells, and if it was likely to return. I also found out that I am not a carrier of the BC1 & BC2 gene, which could've been passed on to my offspring. Considering my diagnosis, finding out I wasn't a carrier was a relief.
My surgeon wanted to bring my case to his colleagues due to how rare it is that I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I was told that men are only 5% of all Breast Cancer diagnosi, and the fact that I am under age 50 and also a black male made it even more of a rarity.
Angel Foundation wrote -
When Margie Sborov founded Angel Foundation back in 2001, she had one goal in mind: help when cancer strikes. And Angel Foundation does just that by offering emergency financial assistance, education, and support to local adults with cancer and their families. Since our founding, we have provided more than $6M in financial aid and helped thousands of local people through our support programs.
Today, in addition to being an active Board Member and staunch supporter of Angel Foundation, Margie’s desire to help continues on in a special program that bears her name: Margie’s Fund. Working hand-in-hand with Angel Foundation’s Emergency Financial Assistance program (which provides $850 grants to adults in active cancer treatment), Margie’s Fund lends extra support in the form of $200 grants for extraordinary situations.
What can $200 really do? Tori Pugh, Financial Counselor at Humphrey Cancer Center, explains just what this program means to the adults with cancer she refers to Angel Foundation:
“$200 to the majority of people may not seem like a lot, but to my patients, it is groceries for their family until their next paycheck comes … it is gas in their car to get them to their daily radiation appointments. $200 can change a patient’s life in an instant and relieve so much stress and worry.
I had a patient once who only had $100 set aside for groceries because he was on a tight budget. He needed to get a prescription filled that cost around $60 and he was going to go without groceries for himself and his young son because he needed the medication to continue his chemotherapy. Margie’s Fund [provided him with] $200 in grocery gift cards. He sent me a thank you letter that said his fridge had never been so full. To me, this shows how impactful Margie’s Fund truly is.”
What is Margie’s Fund? It's a tankful of gas to get to radiation treatments. It's an emergency utility payment to keep the lights on. It's a fridge full of food for a family with only $50 left until payday. It's help when cancer strikes. Please, give today and help keep Margie's Fund an option for adults with cancer and their families.