Katie feels fortunate to have discovered her cancer at an early stage. Mammography that had been postponed until the summer of 2022 eventually took place, and the results revealed a little tumor the size of an olive.
Katie underwent a lumpectomy and radiation therapy right away. Katie is now motivated to use her experience to spread the word about cancer research.
“I wanted to share my story in remembrance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I just received a breast cancer diagnosis and am in treatment now. For others to benefit from my experience, I wanted to provide information on my diagnosis, medical care, and overall experience.”
Katie urges listeners to schedule frequent doctor’s appointments and emphasizes the value of thorough cancer screenings. Additionally, she highlights the elevated risk for patients with thick breasts. Dense breasts, which are present in almost half of American women, can reduce the likelihood of abnormalities being picked up on by mammography.
With her medical team, Katie keeps lines of communication open. To explore the procedures for diagnosis and therapy, she meets with the surgical breast oncologist and chief of breast surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
Interventional breast radiologists Susan Drossman, MD, and Lisa Newman, MD, practice. To give readers a genuine glimpse into her experience, Katie shares her unedited recordings while receiving treatment. This makes it easier for readers to comprehend what she is going through.
In this episode, Ellie and Carrie Monahan, Katie’s two daughters, discuss their feelings about their mother’s illness. They openly discuss their responses to the circumstances. Katie also discusses the effort to change Ohio’s breast cancer screening standards with breast cancer survivor Michele Young. Young discusses her personal experience with the illness and how it has changed her.
“She has been calling and texting me frequently lately, although I used to be very unresponsive to her, especially when I was in college. But now, she calls and Facetimes me frequently, sometimes without warning. We communicate a lot during the day, but when I got up this morning, I had yet to receive her call. Later, she begged me via text to give her a call.”
“She frequently acts in this manner. It can be for a trivial reason that has nothing to do with the subject. She once gave me a FaceTime call, as I recall. She reassured me that nothing was wrong despite my fear. I believe she did that to bring up the subject of cancer.”
“Although I was concerned, she immediately understood that she had access to excellent medical professionals and that it was still early. She told me that the timing of the treatment would force us to cancel a trip we had booked. She said, “Don’t tell Ellie because I’ll tell her.”
Ellie Monahan struggled with her mother’s assessment that she was somewhat different from Carrie in the midst of a busy summer. “I’ve always had anxiety, and my mother and I talk all the time. I’ve just recently developed the ability to let go. We still spoke frequently, and she was always on my speed dial. It used to occur frequently, but now it only happens occasionally. I’m 31 years old, married, and okay with it.”
“My spouse and I hadn’t spoken to each other much lately because I had been preoccupied with three weddings. I had to travel back and forth for the ceremonies by plane from L.A. to the East Coast.”
“I had experienced emotional exhaustion the day Roe v. Wade was reversed, so I was already worn out when I learned of his cousin’s wedding in New Jersey. When I eventually got in touch with her that day, she revealed that although she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, it had been found early.”
“Even though hearing that my mother had cancer was painful, I felt comforted knowing she was receiving such top-notch medical attention. She was a fighter, and I believed she would overcome cancer.”
“We were familiar with the procedure and knew what to anticipate because my father and I had battled cancer. Seeing how my mother handled her diagnosis with composure was empowering, and it gave me courage.”
After her father passed away, Carrie reflected on how she thought it impossible to picture her mother not being alright. When Ellie saw a mannequin wearing one of their father’s wigs, she recalled how horrified she was. Dr. Drossman recalled planning to inform Katie about her father’s passing.
“I needed to break some unpleasant news to Katie, and I wanted to be sure she was ready for it. After expressing my worries, I warned her that the situation might not be favorable. I stated that although breast cancer is treatable, a plan needs to be developed.”