On the morning of August 5, 1977, I woke up in my bed at the Royal Vic in Montréal, wondering what the day would bring. My wonderful doctor, Normand Belliveau, had directed me to the hospital after twice draining a cyst in my breast. I was not expecting anything very major. Little did I know that I would awaken again, five or so hours later, to this kind, caring man poised over the edge of my bed with tears running down his face.
The biopsy they had performed had discovered a tiny malignancy in my breast. Dr. Belliveau, because that was the kind of man he was, stayed with me until I woke up to tell me. He told me he thought they had it all with the tissue they had removed but recommended a mastectomy. I had no reservations. I trusted the man implicitly, and if an operation was going to keep me from dying, so be it!
At the time, Erica was six and Matthew was not yet one. It was a terrifying, painful journey which would have devastated me, had it not been for my wonderful husband, and the knowledge that two children relied on my being well.
I had checkups every six months for five years, when Dr. Belliveau hugged me and told me there was no recurrence. Thirty seven years! I was blessed and still am.
Don't forget, ladies... HAVE A MAMMOGRAMME! It can save your life. It, and a dedicated surgeon, saved mine.