30 May I Have What???
“I Have What??? You just have to be kidding me” was my initial response to my diagnosis of breast cancer. I knew it was possible for a man to have breast cancer, but I also knew it was very rare.
My story is rather unique as my wife had passed away from the same diagnosis after her 10 year battle. Now me? What are the odds would be for a married couple to both be diagnosed with breast cancer?
I have worn different hats with this disease: caregiver, patient, and now survivor. Being a caregiver, and watching loved one suffer from the side effects of chemotherapy, was a very hard thing for me. Being a caregiver taught me what to expect when I was diagnosed. It actually might have saved my life.
Being an ex-athlete and physical education teacher kept me in pretty decent shape. I would work out at the health club about five times a week. I am also very proactive with my health. So when I noticed a marble-sized lump by my left nipple I knew what it could be. While most men believe that it might be a cyst, I knew better.
Without hesitating I made an appointment with my physician, which was the starting point. Like all doctors he would not commit to a diagnosis, but he did tell me that if it was malignant catching it early was important. He then gave me the contact information of a breast surgeon and that is where my journey began.
You can read more about my journey in my book I Have What??? – One Man's Journey Through Breast Cancer.
My goal for speaking up about my journey is to educate everyone that breast cancer is not only a women's disease. By reading my book people will get a glimpse into exactly what a cancer journey feels like: from what to expect when you go in for surgery to how the side-effects might feel. From my experience I hope people realize that they are not alone, even if they might feel like they are.
Richard Wiener is the successful author of I Have What??? One Man's Journey Through Breast Cancer. This book chronicles the raw emotional and physical experiences from a male point of view, taking the reader on a personal ride from Wiener’s discovery of the lump, to processing the diagnosis, managing the treatments, and eventually learning how to move forward. Through Rich's unfiltered candor, he ultimately reminds us of the fragility of life and the power of the human spirit. For more information about Rich and his books visit http://www.richwiener.com.
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