When Jennifer Cordts noticed a slight redness on the side of one of her breasts two years ago, she had a feeling that she should be concerned. But when she visited her doctors and subsequently got a mammogram, she was told that it was nothing. There was, after all, no sign of a lump or a tumor. One doctor, in fact, suggested her bra might be too small. Another put her on a course of antibiotics. But time went on and the red mark that looked a bit like sunburn did not go away.
That is when Jennifer did what most of us are guilty of at one point or another: She consulted Google for answers. What she found scared her. The first result to pop up on her search was Inflammatory Breast Cancer. Unfortunately, the biopsy she had shortly thereafter confirmed a Stage 4 diagnosis of the disease. This was 11 months after she first noticed the spot.
According to KHOU.com,
Despite the diagnosis, Dr. Joyce O’Shaughnessy at Texas Oncology inside Baylor Scott & White Hospital is treating Jennifer. Medicine cannot stop her inflammatory breast cancer but has successfully slowed it down.
Researchers have not determined what causes IBC. It makes up one percent of all breast cancers and unfortunately, it is often diagnosed too late.
“The doctors gave us three to five years. That was a year and a half ago. We’re hoping for five, right?,” said Rob Cordts, Jennifer’s husband.
Every three months though anxiety sets in for the couple. It’s when Jennifer must get a scan to see if the cancer is spreading.
“You’re trying to stay positive for the kids and the wife but I cry every day,” said Rob, 46.
Adding to the anxiety of the scan, it takes another week to learn the results.
Jennifer’s husband does his best to remain positive and to encourage his wife to do the same. But the reality remains that this cancer is going to end her life. As a result, the family is doing everything they can to create memories.
She and her family are planning an Alaskan cruise.
Jennifer met her sister in Las Vegas for a Celine Dion concert recently, and took her 7-year-old daughter Daisy to see the beach for the first time.
“I wouldn’t be truthful to you or anybody else if I didn’t say I was sad. And maybe a little mad. But mostly sad,” said Cordts.
Jennifer is hoping that by sharing her story she can warn other women to push for more tests if they’re concerned about IBC. Here’s more: