A Mother’s Battle with Breast Cancer

November 18, 2016

When Paige Reinke went to Harrington Breast Center for her routine mammogram last November, she felt like something was off. “I go every year to get my mammogram, but afterwards, I returned to work and felt as though something wasn’t right,” said Paige. “They called me the very next morning and I went back for another mammogram and ultrasound. They didn’t like what they saw, so they wanted biopsies done.” Paige went back the next day and had 15 biopsies taken. “It was really painful at first and scary.” Three days later on Friday, November 13, at the age of 47, Paige was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Out of the 15 biopsies taken, three were questionable and one was diagnosed as cancerous. “My nurse navigator, Bobby told me the type of cancer I had was invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC), and it was still stage one,” Paige shares. “After she said the word cancer, I didn’t hear anything else. I just thought ‘how am I going to tell my kids?' I have four kids, so when I heard the word cancer, I was very scared. Bobby was a God-sent through all of it. I’ve known her and her kids for a long time, so it was amazing that I had her.” Paige was referred to Dr. Michael Lary for her surgery, who told her he wanted to perform a lumpectomy, but because of the amount of different spots around her breast, he needed to take the whole breast. “I told Dr. Lary, ‘if you are taking one, you take them both’ because I didn’t want to go through this again,” said Paige.

On December 16th, Paige had a double-mastectomy done including nipple sparing. “I had my surgery over Christmas break, and it was really hard the first couple of weeks, while I waited to see if I needed to begin chemotherapy. My results came back and I was told I wouldn’t need to have chemotherapy or radiation treatments, so I was very lucky. Unfortunately, the nipple sparing didn’t work, so I had to go back in January for another surgery to have those removed because they were afraid they would get an infection.” When Paige went back for her second surgery, they put in expanders.

In May, Paige was able to have her expanders taken out and implants put in. “Dr. Patrick Proffer was my plastic surgeon and he was amazing,” shares Paige. “All of my doctors were amazing. Now, I feel great and I'm going to my checkups with my oncologist at the Harrington Cancer Center, Dr. Anita Ravipati, every three months. I love her and everyone at the center. They are all awesome and the type of people you want there when you go through something like this. They were very caring when I was very scared.” Paige also shares how she found support through family and coworkers. “Through this whole experience, I have had such a great support team, at home and at work. My coworkers were awesome and had shirts made and we all took pictures together. There was also someone else in our building who had cancer, so her and I battled it together. It was awesome to have someone with you going through the same thing.”

Through it all, Paige shares the hardest part was telling her four kids. "They are all older and three of them live in Mississippi. I also have a grandbaby, so that was the worst part, having to tell all of them. After I did, I think I fought harder because of them. A lot of prayers have been answered and I’m just so grateful I didn’t have to go through chemo or radiation. My daughter got married in April and I didn’t want to be losing my hair or not be well enough to go, so I consider myself extremely lucky and blessed. God was definitely on my side.”

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