Katharyn's Journey with a rare form of cancer, Malignant Phyllodes Tumor.

Katharyn Brady By Katharyn Brady, 16th Apr 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/k3b5iqv6/
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Recovery & Coping

In May of 2013, a tumor in my right breast was misdiagnosed as a benign fiberadenoma. It was actually a Malignant Phyllodes Tumor. This is a rare form of cancer. Only 1 in 2 million (mostly women) receive this diagnosis.

So many people have commented that my story is inspirational to them. I decided to go against my private nature and "live out loud" by writing about it.

The day I decided to live out loud.

Katharyn's Journey is my story; as a woman who has worked in high tech companies in the San Francisco Bay Area, for more than 30 years.

My astrological sign is Scorpio which means, until recently, I have kept my thoughts and emotions private. My friends have always understood this about me. But one morning in April, as I was preparing for work, I discovered a small cherry size lump in my right breast. Of course, later in the day I made a call to my breast surgeon, as this was not the first time that I've had lumps in my breasts.

Over the past 16 years, this has been a normal part of my life. However, it's always better to be safe than sorry. Having said that, I really had no worries since I expected this to be just another routine, precautionary visit with my surgeon. I was certain it would be like all of the rest that I had over the years. When it was biopsied and found to be benign, I was genuinely relieved.

But then, two weeks into October, the cherry size lump began to grow, and grow fast with pain. It was like someone squeezed lemon juice into an open wound.

Everyone's thoughts were that I had nothing to worry about because cancer in the breast doesn't hurt. But some part of me, that small inner voice instructed me to take action. I needed to take charge.

I met with my surgeon and explained something was really wrong. We had already agreed that if the tumor changed, it would be removed and re-biopsied. My surgeon reassured me that the diagnosis would be 99.99% benign. The surgery was scheduled within days.

Once the surgery was complete and I was in recovery, my surgeon reported her findings to the family that it was a Phyllodes Tumor, it looked benign, but as a precaution, they took excess tissue as was standard practice and would biopsy it.

The night before my next appointment with my surgeon, my husband was rushed to the hospital. His defibrillator fired, as his heart had stopped. As I sat without any family support in the examining room preparing to hear that the tumor was benign, my surgeon explained that the Phyllodes Tumor was not benign, but actually malignant. It's a very rare tumor. Only 500 cases or 1 in 2 million people in the US receive this diagnosis every year.

To say I was caught off guard would be an understatement. I didn't understand how I went from 99.99% benign to malignant. I had to ask her if malignant meant cancer? She said, "Yes".

This was the day that I decided to go against my Scorpio tendencies and live out loud. As this day was the real beginning of my journey, one that would have lots of ups and downs creating deep changes within my soul.

Through the encouragement of others, I'm turning my story into a blog with a goal of inspiring and helping as many people as I can through my experiences.

Tags

Cancer Diagnosis, Cancer Fighting

Meet the author

author avatar Katharyn Brady
I have survived cancer multiple times. It took 8 surgeries, 33 sessions of radiation and chemo therapy. My focus is on being healthy in mind, body and spirit and helping others do the same.

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Comments

author avatar Sandy Housley
17th Apr 2014 (#)

Katharyn - You are so brave to tell your story. Keep telling it. It will help others.

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author avatar Katharyn Brady
18th Apr 2014 (#)

Thank you, Sandy.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
17th Apr 2014 (#)

I wish you well on your journey and thank you for sharing it with us here on Wikinut. Many of our users have gone through cancer, Steve had colon cancer and changed his diet (stopped eating meat and processed foods), he claims this cured his cancer.

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author avatar Katharyn Brady
18th Apr 2014 (#)

Thank you, Mark.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
17th Apr 2014 (#)

Cancer is a dreaded word but attitude matters to overcome it. Waiting to hear from you further, Katharyn - siva

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author avatar Katharyn Brady
18th Apr 2014 (#)

Thank you, Sivaramakrishan.

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author avatar vandana7
8th May 2014 (#)

Hugs...hope they find some cure for cancer soon enough.

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author avatar Katharyn Brady
9th May 2014 (#)

Thank you, Vandana7.

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