One day I looked a little deeper and found out that inflammatory breast cancer does hurt. It's very rare. Several of the medical professionals I worked with in the beginning had never seen it at all.
I had several tumors throughout my body. And, of course, the entire left breast inside and out was cancerous.
I started chemotherapy within a couple of months. By December 2018, I was active cancer-free, with the exception of the left breast.
December 4, 2018, I had my left breast removed. It was a radical mastectomy, including all the lymph nodes.
Now the challenge is to maintain that active cancer-free status. With my type of cancer, I must have all of my hormones suppressed. Two of my medications are designed to suppress my hormones. They both are another type of chemotherapy. These will be lifetime medications. One of them has a very common side effect of causing a low red blood cell count. As a result, I typically have to have two units of blood every four to six months.
I am a prime example of why there needs to be a ready blood supply every single day. Like millions of other people in the world today, I would die if I did not have blood transfusions. I would grow so weak that my body could not fight off any type of infection whatsoever. It is a matter of life and death.
By the grace of God, an outstanding medical team, and the love and support of my family and friends, as well as the support of total strangers who donate their blood every day, I'm still here. And I plan to be here for a very long time.