Mary Kay Piechura was getting ready in May 2007 to celebrate her youngest daughter's wedding and planning a trip to France.
One night, as she went about her regular routine, she noticed her nipple looked misshapen. Piechura went to her physician, and although initial test revealed nothing out of the ordinary, she was convinced something was not right. Her doctor ordered a biopsy that revealed breast cancer, and a PET scan uncovered she was also suffering from thyroid cancer.
"It was like a bolt of lightning," said Piechura. "I didn't want my suspicions to be true."
A year later, Piechura had undergone most of her chemotherapy treatments and she underwent surgery to remove her thyroid cancer at Broward Health Imperial Point.
"The care was fantastic," said Piechura. "It was a great experience."
Piechura has been cancer-free for more than 10 years. Looking back on her experience, she realizes that it was her family's support, especially the care provided by her husband Joe, which kept her going.
"Sometimes I was afraid, but not often," she said. "I was just taking it one day at a time. My life had been good, and I was just so glad it was me going through this and not my family."
Facing cancer provided a new outlook on life, making her pay closer attention to her nutrition and helping her focus on living stress-free.
"My highs are high, and my lows are low, but I live for the highs," Piechura said.
Piechura advises that women pay close attention to their bodies, learning every curve and every contour so they can detect anything that requires attention.
If you have any concerns about your health, don't wait. Visit https://www.browardhealth.org/find-doctor to find a physician.