My name is Fenee Russ.
On July 10, 2015, I received a call letting me know that my biopsy results were back and that I needed to come into the doctor’s office immediately. I took a deep breath and was relieved that I finally had an answer regarding the two lumps I discovered during my routine breast examination. When I discovered the lumps, it was less than 12 months since my last mammogram. I said a prayer, put on a cute sundress and lipstick, and headed to my doctor’s office.
Rewind to June 26, 2015 I went for my 3D mammogram and bilateral ultrasound. During the visit I was told that they did not see anything. I asked for tape and marked the areas of the lumps on my breast. I spent about 35 minutes being re-examined and the technician used multiple sizes, shapes, clear and black mammogram attachments. The technician left the exam room and returned to whisk me to the ultrasound room. The ultrasound technician told me she did not see anything. I asked her to check the areas that had taped. The next thing I knew I was with the radiologist scheduling an MRI. I practice yoga & meditation, and therefore I’m very attuned with my body (Chakras). If I had not been adamant about my mammogram visit, the outcome would have been totally different.
My story continues… Three weeks after my diagnosis, I received a phone call from my 75-year-old mother telling me she has breast cancer. My mom and I use a buddy system to remind one another about annual mammograms. I reminded her to get the 3D mammogram. Her doctor told her that if she had not received the 3D mammogram the lump would have been hard to detect. I have no family history of any type of cancer. My mother, of course, says she took care of me. I say, “we took care of one another”.
I am the face of a warrior reflecting on my journey with breast cancer. I am not sure how I made it, considering my mom and I live in two different cities. I was in fight mode for my mom and me. I live for the day there is a cure for breast cancer and my two-year-old nieces will not have to experience what I did. I feel empowered knowing I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me!
Profession: School Administrator and Adjunct Professor
Type of Breast Cancer: Ductal Carcinoma in Situ
Year of Diagnosis: 2015
Relationship with Komen: Volunteer of 8 years