Early detection saves lives. I went for my annual mammogram in December of 2015 and was told that my exam results needed to be sent for more testing (my eyes opened wide at that point). I got the call from my gynecologist that I needed to come in and speak with her once the results came. I was then advised that I was indeed diagnosed with breast cancer. Instantly I was in shock, sad, and hurt all at the same time. I couldn’t believe it was happening to me. My doctor immediately referred me to one of the greatest doctors at Cleveland Clinic.
My journey led me to the Cleveland Clinic, where I was diagnosed with Stage 0 breast cancer. With stage 0, I was a candidate for a lumpectomy (surgery to remove cancer or other abnormal tissue from your breast), but the surgery did not remove all the cancer cells from my body. I was advised on the other steps I could take in an attempt to get rid of this “nasty” disease. Several surgeries later, I am cancer free. I still suffer with minor pain from time to time, but I fight through it each and every day, because “I’m a Survivor”.
I urge everyone to get a breast examination. Early detection not only saved my life, but I did not have to do chemotherapy or radiation and for that I am very grateful. I am a road deputy who has to be there to help the public, but I will not lie, it was tough patrolling my city and responding to calls with the knowledge I had been diagnosed with breast cancer and would have to soon face surgery, not knowing the outcome. I went out every day and maintained my smile and did my job to the best of my ability. I was angry, very scared on the inside, but I just remembered my two beautiful children and the wonderful husband I had to be around for. I still have family members and friends that have no clue what I have gone through and hopefully they will understand after reading this. It was not easy for me to speak on this issue, but I must get the word out to possibly help out other women who are shy speaking about their journey.
I am grateful to all of my family, friends, and my district who stood by me through my journey and I cannot thank you enough. Thank you for the opportunity to share my story.
- Deputy Tenika Hylton