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This fundraiser ended on 06/01/12

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We are uniting to raise money for Jill Adams to help with her battle against breast cancer.

~When were you diagnosed?

I was diagnosed in July 2011. The first team of doctors told me it was most likely a flux in hormones because of my age and that they were “85% positive there would be nothing to worry about”. Wow Wee…it’s a good thing I didn’t count on that information! I remember saying to the doctor after having been given the cancer diagnosis, “This is bad timing for me—school starts in a few weeks”!
The cancer diagnosis I could live with; not being able to see my kiddos in the art room at school for the entire time I had treatment was the hardest part.

~Was it during a mammogram?

There was a mammogram and ultrasound that found the first two suspicious locations; another surgical procedure found the third location that had the aggressive type of cancer.
I had originally noticed discomfort/pain just in my right breast. After a few months of realizing it wasn’t getting better or going away, I made an appointment with my internist who scheduled the mammogram and ultrasound. She found the two suspicious areas immediately during an exam.

~What were you diagnosed with?

I was diagnosed with two different kinds of cancer; one was slow growing and was considered non-life threatening. That was the two suspicious spots the mammogram and ultrasound showed. The second type of cancer, called ductal carcinoma insitu, was the one I felt worried about. This one was resolved through a surgical procedure that involves lymph nodes under the arm. That was the one that resulted in radiation treatments and a cancer drug called Tamoxifen.





http://www.giveforward.com/jilladamsbreastcancerfight

~When were you diagnosed?

I was diagnosed in July 2011. The first team of doctors told me it was most likely a flux in hormones because of my age and that they were “85% positive there would be nothing to worry about”. Wow Wee…it’s a good thing I didn’t count on that information! I remember saying to the doctor after having been given the cancer diagnosis, “This is bad timing for me—school starts in a few weeks”!
The cancer diagnosis I could live with; not being able to see my kiddos in the art room at school for the entire time I had treatment was the hardest part.

~Was it during a mammogram?

There was a mammogram and ultrasound that found the first two suspicious locations; another surgical procedure found the third location that had the aggressive type of cancer.
I had originally noticed discomfort/pain just in my right breast. After a few months of realizing it wasn’t getting better or going away, I made an appointment with my internist who scheduled the mammogram and ultrasound. She found the two suspicious areas immediately during an exam.


~What were you diagnosed with?

I was diagnosed with two different kinds of cancer; one was slow growing and was considered non-life threatening. That was the two suspicious spots the mammogram and ultrasound showed. The second type of cancer, called ductal carcinoma insitu, was the one I felt worried about. This one was resolved through a surgical procedure that involves lymph nodes under the arm. That was the one that resulted in radiation treatments and a cancer drug called Tamoxifen.

Breast cancer does NOT run in my family; as far as we can tell I am the first woman to be diagnosed with it. As a result my twin sister and mother are now considered "high-risk" and have already taken the necessary precautions (tests) that were recommended to see what may lie in their futures. This is difficult for me; I don't like to think they may have to endure the same things I did.

I am now no longer allowed to be an organ donor--this made me feel so very sad as we went through legal paperwork with the hospital. I didn't know this was one of the many side effects of cancer!

I didn't really realize until that point that my cancer diagnosis would be such a permanent, life changing experience. I cannot donate blood for the next five years due to the cancer meds...all these "nos" affected me deeply. I am still keeping things extremely positive, though, because I am grateful to say "I am a cancer survivor"!

~How many days was I off of work:

I missed the majority of quarter one and quarter two this school year; I was in school for approximately just 3-4 weeks total during that time. My time in the art room was very sporadic and unpredictable due to the surgeries and doctors appointments. I was finally able to arrange with the help of our school district's Human Resource department Family Medical Leave Act so that I could retain my art teacher position no matter what happened or how long I was gone for.


~When did you have a biopsy?

The biopsy happened just a few days after the results came back positive from the mammogram and ultrasound, in July 2011.

~Lumpectomy?

The lumpectomy was performed in September to clear out the two “suspicious areas” that had been deemed cancerous.

~Any other surgeries?

After not being completely satisfied with the first team of doctors and the dim prognosis I was given (two more surgical procedures even after the lumpectomy—one of them being a mastectomy), I decided to trek out to Zion, IL to Cancer Treatment Center of America.
Once I was there with all of my information from the first team of doctors, I was thankfully told there would be only one surgery left-cleaning out of the margins from the lumpectomy, and the lymph node procedure. Both happened at the same time, and that was my final and third surgery!

~How long did you have radiation for?

I had radiation every day for six weeks. Boy oh boy was I ever glad when that was over…I had radiation burn terribly.

~Future surgeries?

Reconstruction (plastic surgery) is scheduled for Summer 2012. Nothing now; things need time to heal and get back to “normal” before any more surgery can happen.

~Prognosis?

Great! I’ll be taking Tamoxifen for the next five years and having mammograms every six months, but that’s a piece of cake after going through diagnosis and treatment!
Although parts of this journey were difficult for me, I am very grateful for being given this path in my life.
I am a firm believer that everything in life happens for a reason—I am hoping to be able to give back to the community when I am stronger. I believe there is a way to combine my three favorite things-ART, KIDS, and my Therapy Dog Betty Lou. I would like to create an opportunity, a “safe haven” if you will, for kids that are directly affected by having to deal with a family member who has been diagnosed with cancer. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

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