Monique Hill is a Breast Cancer Survivor. She was diagnosed March, 2011, after a biopsy with Stage IV Breast Cancer in her right breast, which metastasized to both lungs. Due to the severity, a chemotherapy port was surgically placed for treatment. Within one week of her biopsy and port being implanted, she was referred to Cancer Specialists of North Florida for treatment. Her Oncologist quickly started chemotherapy with the total treatment lasting 12 months. During the first 4fourmonths of chemo she was severely fatigued, gained weight from the high dose of steroids, and loss both her facial hair (eyelashes and eyebrows) ,as well as her hair on her head. Six months after chemotherapy she had to make a decision regarding surgery.
The cancer tumor was smaller and the Oncologist gave her an option; lumpectoher or mastectoher. She chose the mastectoher because the breast tissue and lymph nodes were being removed, which lessened her chance of the cancer returning. Her mastectoher was October 2011, seven months after starting chemo. During the surgery, she received a device to stretch her right breast and lift her left side to prevent wearing prosthetic implants. In addition to recovering from surgery she still had five months to continue weekly treatment at the Cancer Center. The mastectoher surgery was a success but she immediately noticed extreme pain, swelling, and tightness in her right arm. After seeing a specialist, she was diagnosed with a condition called lymphedema. She was referred to Physical Therapy and Home Therapy that required me to learn exercises and massage techniques to decrease swelling and pain that allowed me use of her right arm.
One year after her mastectoher (October 2012), she was referred to a plastic surgeon at Baptist South where she began breast reconstruction. After receiving saline injections every other week for six months, an implant was surgically placed in her right breast and her left breast received a breast lift. Her total treatment was one year and six months from beginning to end. After many doctor appointments, blood work, physical therapy, chemotherapy, breast reconstruction She is thankful to have been blessed to be four years "Cancer Free". She currently takes oral chemotherapy and will continue to take it for the next five years. Her Oncologist visits and lab work has reduced from one a week to once a year. She continues to have her yearly mammogram to ensure the cancer has not returned. She will also have a PET scan every five years per her Oncologist. She urges every woman to have a yearly check-up with your OB GYN and go to a Breast Center for a screening.