When Audrey Estep went in for a routine mammogram, she expected to be in and out of the doctor’s office.
Unfortunately, things took an unexpected turn.
“I’m thinking, well, I’ll be in and out and then I’ll get on with my Christmas shopping,” Audrey explains in the video below, posted on January 27, 2017. She continues: “I didn’t think they would find anything because I did check my breasts. I didn’t have any lumps, bumps, nothing that felt unusual to me.”
That was when her doctor noticed something small, but very urgent in Audrey’s X-ray. Her doctor, Kristine L. Widders, states: “On her screening mammogram, she was noted to have calcifications of the breast.” She then points to the X-ray itself and says, “These bright white spots here.
They’re very faint and very hard to see. Those are the areas of calcifications. I often describe them to patients as ‘grains of sand.’ They can’t be felt or can’t be seen with the naked eye.”
After performing an ultrasound, the doctor told her to return for a biopsy. Then, she received the confirmation she was dreading. The 49-year-old and her husband, Randy, realized that she was in for a rigorous battle with breast cancer.
“I didn’t really break down until one night at 2 o’clock in the morning, as I was laying in my bed and I started to cry,” Audrey admits. “My father was struggling with Alzheimer’s. I thought, ‘How am I going to tell him? How will he understand? And who’s going to take care of him?’ That was when I really started to understand and to understand that I had cancer.”
Although Audrey just had one of the most daunting revelations of her life, she decided to face it head on. She went on to endure 12 weeks of chemotherapy treatment, which were even harder on Randy. He wasn’t ready for his wife to lose all of her hair, which made the situation all the more real to him. He explains: “I said, ‘I’m not ready,’ so we waited a while and she went back up and she started and she said, ‘Well, you’re going to have to come up here and finish it.'” Audrey wasn’t going to avoid her fight and instead, found bravery through her difficult time.
Luckily, with the support of her friends and family (paired with a vivacious inner strength and the will to keep fighting), Audrey is now a survivor. She overcame many obstacles to get where she is today. Because of all she had been through, she now finds herself ensuring that women in her shoes feel the “peace and comfort” she found along the way.
To see the impact of Audrey’s entire journey, check out the video below!
Finally, please SHARE if you are glad that Audrey is a survivor, and to remind your friends and family about the importance of mammograms!
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