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Finding Strength in the Fight


Midland Reporter-Telegram, Midland

“I didn’t have no symptoms. A lot of people think you do, but you don’t necessarily,” said Lavinya Coleman, speaking softly while birds chirp outside and the rustle of just-waking family murmurs throughout her house. Coleman had been diagnosed with breast cancer, leaving her to join many women who have received this devastating news.

She had turned 40 last year, and her insurance went into effect at her job, so she went in for a check-up expecting to get a clean bill of health.

“I got a mammogram. Then they said, ‘You need to do a sonogram.’ Then they said, ‘You need to get a biopsy,’” Coleman said, listing off the steps. They scheduled her biopsy, but she kept putting it off. When her doctor said there was no more putting it off, she went.

“I really didn’t want to go by myself. They hook you up to this machine, and your boob goes through this little hole. All you hear is ‘click, click, click,’ and it’s like, ‘What is goin’ on?’ Then they took me into the sonogram room and did the other side. And then Thursday I got a call, and they were like, ‘You need to schedule an appointment with the surgeon on Friday.’ The way they do it, everything is quick. You really don’t have time to process what’s going on. You know it’s going on, but it’s so fast it’s like, ‘Is this real?’”

Breast cancer is the second-deadliest cancer among American women, with lung cancer being the first. About 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in their lifetime, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Read the full story in the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

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