Phyllis A.

Tough Enough to Wear Pink

I am currently a School Counselor for a 2nd/3rd grade building in Vernon, Texas.

I am a two time breast cancer survivor. I was first diagnosed in 2003 with breast cancer in my left breast. I was living in Lawton, Ok., a single mom of 3 boys, the oldest a senior in high school, middle a 8th grader and youngest in 2nd grade. I was 39 years old and had never had a mammogram because insurance did not cover it if you were under 40. At that time insurance would only pay to remove one breast if the other was not affected. I went through 6 months of chemo and reconstruction. Then took cancer drugs daily for 5 years. My children all graduated, went to college I remarried and moved to Vernon, Tx., my hometown. I have had annual mammograms ever since. In July of 2017 a spot showed up on my right breast. The surgeon wasn’t concerned but after surgery to remove two places it showed up as two different kinds of cancer. I had surgery to remove my right breast, did 6 months of chemo and reconstruction removing all breast tissue. I am finally starting to feel normal again. I am currently taking the daily cancer medication for the next 5 years. I can not stress how important annual mammograms are and cancer insurance. I had no cancer insurance the first time but was lucky enough to have it the second. Cancer can easily bankrupt you.

-Phyliss A.