On November 16th, 2011, I finished a series of testing that included over 60 mam…


On November 16th, 2011, I finished a series of testing that included over 60 mammogram images, and a needle biopsy in 3 separate places. For two of the biopsies the large needle collapsed cysts. For the third, a large mass, it didn’t. I looked at the doctor who inserted the needle and asked her, “What do I tell my husband?” She said, ” Tell your husband you have cancer.”
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I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t want to believe it. That mass hadn’t been tested yet. I needed concrete answers. I moved into the room with my cancer nurse navigator, and again asked her, “What do I tell my husband?” She told me to wait until the test results came back in order to give a definite answer. I wouldn’t know for sure until the next day. Let him know there is a possibility that is was just a mass. But to be able to receive the call in a place I was comfortable talking or receiving any news.
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The next day, November 17th, 2011, 9 years ago today, I was out with Tim running errands and our car died. I was not happy. Nothing was going right. We called a local rental car company to pick us up and take us to their office so we could rent a car until ours was fixed.
In the midst of that car ride, with my husband and the rental agent in the front seat, as I sat fuming in the back – my phone rang.
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“Yes, Hello?”
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“Mrs. Savage, I don’t have good news.”
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It was cancer.
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I wasn’t ready to pour out my grief with the rental car agent.
But the silent tears started to flow. Tim turned around and looked at me as I nodded my head.
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I don’t remember anything else the nurse said except the date and time of my next appointment that would turn into scores of appointments.
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November 17th, 2011. The day I found out I had cancer.
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In the next few months I had some surgeries, a double mastectomy and reconstruction, chemotherapy, lots of pricking with needles. Through everything, at every appointment, my husband was by my side. He is a spectacular husband.
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Today, 9 years later, as I look back on the last nine years, I am glad to be alive.
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Today, I want to encourage you to live and love your life. Be fully present. Take risks. Love deeply.



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