My name is Gina Morfino, I am a proud, single mother to a recent high school graduate. I have no family history of breast cancer and never missed annual mammograms. During the spring of 2010, while I lay in bed one night praying, I became aware of a large bump just below my collarbone. Shocked at the finding, a few brief moments of worry enterd my mind but I quickly shrugged them off-this was nothing serious. I later realized that God had whispered to me that night and I ignored him.
Spring turned to summer then summer to fall, and I still refuse to seek medical treatment. I was scheduled for a mammogram the last week in October-I would bring it up then, I fell ill with bronchitis early in October and visited my doctor. While in her office. I mentioned the bump. She examined the area and immediately ordered me to have a mammogram that very same day.
After the mammogram testing, I sat in the waiting area and anticipated the “all clear” so I could re-dress and go home. I was quickly informed that an ultrasound examination would be necessary. I sat in my oh-so-attractive hospital gown-everything about this visit felt different. After what seemed like an eternity, a most kind and compassionate nurse wearing a warm smile and an old-fashioned nurses cap, walked over to me. She gently placed her arm around my shoulder and said, “Let’s go see the radiologist”. I knew then that I had breast cancer. The doctor was compassionate and seemed to take a responsibility for my condition, for he was the very same doctor who read my mammogram less than a year prior. NOTHING had appeared on that last x-ray. The rest, as they say, was a blur.
Two weeks, one biopsy, three surgeries, and far too much information to comprehend later, I was told I had stage 3C invasive duct carcinoma, a very aggressive cancer that has spread to my live notes. I started a “Dense Dose” round of chemotherapy two days after Christmas and believe me when I tell you I have never been through anything in my life to prepare me for what side effects. In May of 2011 I was told that physically, my body was unable to take any further chemotherapy treatments and I was moved to radiation therapy five days a week. At a minimum it would last for several weeks-my last for two and 2 1/2 months. I completed radiation therapy three weeks ago. Having cancer is stressful, emotional and physically and financially draining. The support from Team Angels Foundation and Fiat is a godsend.
Thank you so much for your help, encouragement and compassion.