My ILC Story – Kim Shares Her Story with Lobular Breast Cancer

In July 2022, I received a job offer in my hometown of San Antonio, TX. I had been in Dallas for 20 years and loved my job, our community, and, most importantly, my doctors. After moving to San Antonio, I set upon the arduous task of finding a new team of doctors. Fast forward to late October and my first mammogram in my new city. The year prior in November of 2021 when I had my annual mammogram in Dallas the 3D imaging showed nothing remarkable. By this year however, while still at the mammogram site, the radiologist let me know that I would need a biopsy and was concerned about a spot on my left breast. I had felt something emerging; however, I chalked it up to hormones, overeating chocolate and sugar as I adjusted to a new job and a new city.

Between my work schedule and scheduling multiple imaging and biopsies, the primary site was biopsied on Dec. 30, 2023. My husband and I celebrated New Year’s Eve with friends and I was prepared for whatever the results were. On January 4 I got the call that my pathology came back positive for invasive lobular carcinoma. At the time, the tumor was measuring around 7 CM on the right breast, very close to the nipple. I was in the grocery store when I got the call, and somewhere between spinach and chicken, I finished shopping and called my parents to invite them for dinner. That evening, I told them that I had tested positive for breast cancer. After a large amount of wine and numerous phone calls, it was decided that we would start the hunt for an oncology team the next day.

I immediately followed the LBCA Facebook page and spent hours pouring over the information and stories of other women. My sister helped me research to find a wonderful oncology team in San Antonio. In February, I began monthly injections of Zoladex and daily Letrozole. The combined two would hopefully put me into menopause and stop the production of estrogen. My tumor was entirely fueled by estrogen and was 99% estrogen positive, 85% progesterone positive, and HER 2 negative. As my doctor explained, the drugs and injection would starve the tumor so that it would die, I was also still going for more biopsies to see if the cancer had spread to any other spots.

Fast forward to July 5th. I had a skin-saving mastectomy with an expander in place. I remember lying in the operating room and had started to cry. My amazing breast surgeon held my hand and told me everything was going to be ok. He was right. Once surgery was complete and all the pathologies came back, my tumor was 90% dead at the time of surgery and they were able to get the remaining 10% with clear margins. It had not spread to any lymph nodes. In my last meeting with my doctor before heading back to San Antonio we reviewed the findings which confirmed that I was cancer-free. I stood next to a trash can outside the hospital with my mom and my sister and all three of us finally let the floodgates open with a good old-fashioned cry.

The support I received from groups like the LBCA, the LBC support group on social media, and my fantastic care team is why I am here and able to say I am a survivor. I could not have made this journey without the support of my husband, family, friends, and colleagues. And I am thankful to have been so welcomed by this fantastic organization.

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