AMORY – For Linda Carter, the month of October is a time of celebrating. Marking this year of 2012, she has been cancer-free for 31 years.
Her youngest child, Bridgette, was three years old when she was diagnosed.
“I had been going to the doctor for seven years and they said I had a simple case of mastitis. I had a lump, but had been treated for mastitis. I got sick and thought I had a heart attack. The doctor told me I had something and was not going to get better,” Carter said.
Carter was sent to the hospital for a mammogram and then sent back to the doctor. That doctor then sent her to Dr. Robert Cole, a surgeon in Amory, for a biopsy.
“The doctor’s office called and asked if my husband was home. I told them ‘yes’ and they said to come in the back door at the office. I know then what was wrong. I thought my world had ended,” Carter said.
Carter said they wanted her to go into the hospital right away, but she told them she had to make arrangements for her children.
“Back then the surgery was very aggressive. Everything was cut out. I didn’t even have to have treatments,” she said.
It’s been so long ago that Carter doesn’t remember what type of cancer she had, but she has had no recurrences. She does have a mammogram every year.
“I have had a few bumpy patches in the road, but nothing major. I had to have a nerve block as a result of cut nerves during my surgery. Also my lungs were punctured. That was all painful, but I am thankful to be a cancer survivor,” Carter said.
Carter told her children she had to live since her daughter, Angie, was 15 years old and would have had to raise Bridgette if she had died.
She said none of her sisters have gotten breast cancer, but three first cousins have and two have passed away.
“I wouldn’t be here without the support of my church family and friends,” Carter said.
Carter urged that everyone who gets a lump should get it taken care of immediately.