Breast Cancer Awareness

Marlene Clarke

It was the month of November 2006. I was having severe shortness of breath and was treated for pneumonia. I returned to the Urgent Care Center for re-evaluation a couple of weeks later after being on prescription medication. The x-ray was not satisfactory. My primary care physician requested that I go to the Emergency Room. My daughter took me directly to the hospital. I was later admitted and put on Morphine for excruciating pain I had been experiencing to my neck and back. I was unable to turn my neck without being in pain. I was diagnosed with Metastatic Breast Cancer. The disease had spread to my bones and lungs. The prognosis was not encouraging for my family.

I had several radiation treatments to my neck and back and approximately 16th months of weekly chemotheraphy treatments, four Thoracentesis because my lungs filled up with fluid and caused severe shortness of breath and a video assisted Thorascopic surgery on the lung. I had a chest-tube in for twelve days instead of the four days my surgeon had anticipated. I was taken for my first few chemotherapy treatments in a wheelchair and wearing a neck-brace. The neck-brace was necessary for several months for protection, because the cancer had spread to my neck.

This disease had so ravaged my body that everything had to be done for me. I had to be driven to my doctor appointments, which were many, and meals had to be prepared for me. I was basically dependent on someone to do everything for me.

I am extremely grateful to my children: Tricia, Marvin and Kevin and their dad for all the support they have given me during this time, which was very stressful for them. I am also thankful for all the prayers from my Church and friends.

I could not have made it to my many appointments without the help of my caring friends. Some of which sat through treatments. Last but not least my great team of doctors at ADVANCED MEDICAL SPECIALTIES and the many specialists that attended me.

The good news is today I am thankful I have regained much of my independence and very thankful for each day that has been given to me. THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE.CANCER DOES NOT DESERVE A SECOND CHANCE.