In November 2016, Rogelia Armendariz fell while she was cleaning and later felt a lump in her left breast. She thought it was caused by the fall. When her doctor checked it in March, she was referred for a biopsy and learned she had stage IV breast cancer.
New Year’s Eve, 2018, didn’t go as Zonia DeLao would have planned. Earlier in the month, she had a regularly scheduled mammogram at El Franco Lee Health Center. Her primary care physician sent her to Smith Clinic for further tests, which included stereotactic and MRI biopsies. Physicians found three lumps, two of them were cancerous.
In mid-2018, Shelia Doyle went to an emergency room because she felt a lump in her right breast. She was told it was a cyst and was sent home. That scene was repeated before she saw her OB who sent her for a mammogram and ultrasound where the imaging doctor matter-of-factly said, “You have cancer. Do you have any questions?”
When Liliana Estupinan accompanied her mom to a doctor’s visit, she saw a promotion for a screening blood test. She jumped at the offer and soon learned something was wrong. The doctor ordered a pap smear and a breast ultrasound, then a diagnostic mammogram. A biopsy confirmed stage III breast cancer.
Mavis Fletcher was leaving for vacation in July 2018 when she first felt a lump in her breast. Since she was at low risk for cancer, she waited until she returned home to have it checked. Misdiagnosed once, she could tell it was growing, and she was beginning to feel some pain.
A self-exam in early 2018 revealed a lump in Graciela Gonzalez’ right breast. She was visiting Mexico at the time and had a mammogram there. When she returned to Houston, she had a second mammogram and received a diagnosis of stage I breast cancer.
In January 2018, Maria Elena Lopez felt a large lump in her right breast. She made an appointment for a mammogram at Smith Clinic, and it was followed by other exams, including a biopsy. The tests confirmed stage II cancer.
Elena Madrid made an appointment for a physical at Aldine Health Center in January 2014 expecting a routine check-up. Thirty minutes after her mammogram, she was called back into the exam room for a second look. Referred to Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital for a diagnostic mammogram, doctors told her she had a lump in her left breast and needed treatment.
When Thanh Nguyen came to the United States in 2011, she began to notice pain in the back of her shoulder. Her doctor ordered an MRI and told her she had late-stage breast cancer. She was referred to Ben Taub Hospital where her most vivid memory is watching the July 4th fireworks over Miller Outdoor Theatre from her sixth-floor room.
August 9, 2018, was Deborah Nickerson’s birthday. It was also the day she was faced with the idea she might have cancer. She had felt a lump in her breast and made an appointment with her primary care physician at Northwest Health Center. Equally concerned, her doctor referred her to Smith Clinic for a mammogram the same day. That’s when she first heard the word cancer.
The day after Labor Day 2009, Juvon Wilson learned she had two rare types of cancer in her right breast. It was stage III, and because of family history, doctors recommended a mastectomy of both breasts.