The lump in my breast was first noticed on December 24, 2020 by my wife Brenda when she noticed something different in my right breast, one evening when I had my shirt off. She works for Kaiser, so she did not hesitate to make an appointment the next day with my doctor. I was 58 at the time and had no relevant symptoms other than occasional back discomfort. This was an unwanted Christmas present. I am an Exclusive Agency Owner for Allstate Insurance.
My Stage IV diagnosis meant surgery wasn’t required, and I started on Anastrozole before chemotherapy, which consisted of Taxol every three weeks. The first dose was challenging. My white blood count dropped the next day and I had flu-like symptoms. I ended up going to Urgent Care after two days. I was given a treatment to reduce my fever and Tylenol, and I started feeling better the next day. My oncologist decided to reduce the strength of the Taxol so I was not having any significant side effects. I have had four treatments and it is expected to continue through the summer.
My initial reaction to learning I had breast cancer was alarm and I felt scared. I started checking my Life Insurance policies and putting things in order for my family in case of the worst. I am a person of faith, so I trusted God knew what was best. I have an excellent support system in my family and our church.
My wife consulted people she knew who had breast cancer, and we began a healthier diet and more exercise. I have had genetic testing and was told no genetic mutations were detected.
I have been healthy all of my life and I have never had an overnight hospital stay. This disease was unexpected, and I am staying positive and in prayer. With God’s help, I intend to beat this dreaded disease. I am learning daily about breast cancer for men, mainly via books and internet articles. Men should develop a habit of regular breast examinations and cancer screening. The key is to try to catch the disease early.