Mammography Keeps Cheryl Boyd A Step Ahead of Breast Cancer
Cheryl Boyd, 57, a supervisor of Environmental Services at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital (ALMH), is familiar with regular mammograms. Several tests have exposed masses, which allowed her to fight the disease with an early diagnosis.
“Every single mammogram I have is very stressful and worrisome for me because more times than not, it has ended up with me having to have something done,” Cheryl said. “But the girls at ALMH mammography are so wonderful to me. They know my fears, and they know my story, and they are always so supportive.”
In 2005, Cheryl had breast reduction surgery. Afterwards, abnormal pathology reports led to further testing, which showed fibrosis and scar tissue from the surgery. But in 2014, Cheryl’s yearly mammogram showed abnormal changes in her left breast. She underwent several mammograms and an ultrasound wire-guided biopsy. A lumpectomy found atypical ductual hyperplasia, which was removed. Afterwards, she had to schedule 30 days of radiation.
“Nothing can prepare you for the horror of being told you need to have radiation,” she remembered. “But I was thankful it was just radiation and not chemotherapy. I went daily and they treated me wonderfully.”
Another mammogram in 2016 found a mass in her right breast. She had another ultrasound wire-guided biopsy along with a lumpectomy. Fortunately, that turned out to be benign and no treatment was needed.
Today, Cheryl is thankful for her scars because they remind her daily that she is still winning against a terrible disease. Her mother had stage 3 breast cancer at 78 years old and underwent a double mastectomy. She will celebrate her 90th birthday soon.
“I definitely come from an ultimate survivor for sure,” Cheryl said. “I go year to year, not really knowing if I am going to have to have another lumpectomy, but I don’t really worry about it anymore. If I do, I will handle it like every other survivor does. We don’t have a choice. We fight.”
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