Leslie’s Story

Don’t Forget your Mammogram!

My first mammogram was in 2000 and then in 2002, 2004, and 2006.

I was busy and time flew by quickly. In 2008, I forgot to get a mammogram.

In November 2009, I had my annual checkup.  My doctor looked in my chart and noted my last mammogram in 2006.  He scolded me and said, “Leslie, go get a mammogram!”

The holidays were busy and in February 2010, I finally scheduled my mammogram for the next month.

March 10, I had a mammogram.  They saw a mass.  I had an ultrasound and was told I needed to come back for a biopsy. I wasn’t worried.  I was sure it was just a benign cyst.

March 15, I had a biopsy.  When finished, I went to work – just like any other day.

March 17, the doctor called me – at work of all places, and said, “Leslie you have breast cancer”.  Time stood still as I realized this is real!

I had a mastectomy.  My tumor was five centimeters.  Fear gripped me.

I hoped I wouldn’t need chemo but a tumor that large meant chemo was my hope. To say treatment was difficult is an understatement.  While undergoing treatment I realized I had two choices – to give up or fight like hell.  I chose to fight and I made it through.

Now I get a mammogram every year.  For cancer taught me that no matter how busy you are, you should never neglect your breast health.

So, take it from me, “Don’t forget your mammogram!”

Leslie Byers 2011 (2)

Pictured: Leslie (left) with her niece, Adrianne