Brunilda Caro

My name is Brunilda Caro. I am 48 years old, a single mom with three kids, and four grandkids. I call myself blessed that my breast cancer was caught early. My journey started in May 2006 when I noticed a lump in my left breast. I didn't worry because I just had a mammogram in April. So for the next five months I just watched it grow.

On Thursday the 12th of October at my yearly physical, I told my doctor about the lump and he requested a mammogram be done the very next day. Once that was done, the doctor at the Imaging Center requested an MRI that afternoon, and then a biopsy that evening. Monday morning I was scheduled to see my doctor again for my results. I was told I had Breast Cancer. At that moment my heart stopped. I couldn't breathe. I didn't know what to do or say, so I just cried. On my way to work I thought of my mother. She had breast cancer, but she had a lumpectomy. When she was diagnosed I remembered that she also thought she was going to die. My mother is 71 years old and is still full of life. As soon as I got to my office I called my insurance office for information on doctors.  I scheduled my appointment with an oncology surgeon in Little Rock for that Wednesday. I met the surgeon and she informed me that I needed a mastectomy as soon as possible. My surgery was scheduled for October 26th. The surgeon removed some lymph nodes for testing and they were not cancerous, thank God. I started chemotherapy on December 1st, and on the 31st I was invited to a New Years party, I wore my wig for the first time and I had the best time of my life. I love to dance and I decided I wasn't going to stop dancing just because I had breast cancer. I treated my illness as if it was a bad cold that I was taking medicine for. My treatments were on Fridays in the afternoon, so I would go dancing that night. I knew by Monday I would not be in the mood or would have the strength or energy to do anything other then work and go home to crash on the sofa. I never missed a day of work, just the hours I needed for my appointments. June 15th was my last treatment. My next step was to schedule an appointment with the plastic surgeon, to start my reconstruction. My surgery was on August 16th, the surgeon inserted an expander beneath my skin and chest muscle, and he has periodically injected saline to gradually fill the expander over several weeks. After the skin over the breast area has stretched enough, the expander will be removed in a second operation and a permanent implant will be inserted. My surgery is scheduled for November 8th, 2007. God willing my cold will finally be cured.

My Final Lesson
After the initial shock of “Am I going to die?” I began to see things in other ways. “What am I going to do now?” And will this make me feel less of a woman. As each day passed each one of my different fears faded away. What I discovered was that, If God brought me to this obstacle, he will get me through it. And if I have to do it again, I would. It was worth it.