Sherri’s story: Keeping the faith despite setbacks
Sherri Dublin has earned the title of “breast cancer survivor.”
After her annual screening mammogram last year, she was recommended for a diagnostic mammogram, which was then followed by a biopsy. She was diagnosed with Stage 0 breast cancer three days later.
“My doctor called, not the nurse, so I knew something wasn’t right,” recalls Dublin. “I was told that there was good news and bad news. The bad news was I had breast cancer. The good news was it looked like they caught it early enough.”
A second opinion confirmed the diagnosis, and Dublin proceeded to have a lumpectomy, a surgical operation where a lump or calcification is removed from the breast. It typically occurs when cancer is present, but has not spread.
Dublin had the surgery, and was given the all clear. Next up was 30 days of radiation to confirm she was cancer free. Because she lived in Carpentersville, Ill., the 47-year-old chose to have her radiation treatment at the Cancer Care Center at Elgin-based Advocate Sherman Hospital.
Dublin met with Dr. Azhar Awan, the medical director of oncology-radiation at the Cancer Care Center, who noticed something missing in her original screening imagery. He referred her for another diagnostic mammogram, which revealed all the cancer had not been removed, and what they believed to be Stage 0 breast cancer was actually Stage 1.
“I just felt something was missing,” says Dr. Awan. “The outcome could have been much different had she not followed the path she was on. She was initially taken aback by what I had to stay, but once we found what we did, she was very positive and stayed strong.”
Dublin was referred to Dr. Barry Rosen, a surgeon with Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, Ill., where she had a second lumpectomy and a breast reduction on her right side. A biopsy shortly after showed that some of the breast cancer was invasive, and she was back on the operating table a week later to have a lymph node removed.
Shortly thereafter she had her 30 days of radiation and has been cancer-free ever since.
“It was a crazy last year, and I am going to enjoy every moment of my life from here on out,” says Dublin, whose grandmother died of breast cancer. “Don’t get too busy to take care of yourself.
“The life lesson for me was that I wasn’t in it alone. My family was such a great support system, my friends were wonderful and my faith never wavered. Just know you have to find the right doctors and the right facilities.”
To learn more about breast health, visit Stories of the Girls.
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