Amy Sherman Is A Survivor

Amy Sherman is a third-grade teacher at Stewart Heights Elementary School. She lives in Minturn. She and her husband, Ethan have a ten-year-old son and an eight-year-old daughter.
She shares her story in the hopes that you may understand just how important early detection of cancer is. Early detection is most likely through annual mammograms and other recommended screenings. These tests can save your life, literally.

Amy began her annual mammogram screenings at 40, which is the recommended age. Her 1st three were clear with no problems.
In November of 2017, Amy went for her 4th annual mammogram at Scotland Memorial Hospital. She was 43 at the time.
She was immediately contacted by Dr John Nobles, OB/GYN and asked to go for a follow up mammogram due to a suspicious area on first mammogram.
The second mammogram was on the right side. The radiologist showed me the area of concern. There were tiny dots which he said were suspicious because of little lines coming off from them.
Amy was referred back to Dr Nobles, who referred her to Dr Amy Murrell, a Florence surgeon.
After reviewing her mammogram, Dr Murrell was not overly concerned. She said that they looked like calcifications which are not concerning but sent Amy for a biopsy to be safe.
“I had my biopsy done at McLeod in Florence. Waiting for biopsy results was horrible. When I returned to Dr Murrell for my results I was told that I had DCIS – Ductal Carcinoma in Sutu, cancer of the milk ducts in the right breast.”
“I was given the choice of going radical with mastectomy or having a lumpectomy to remove the cancer cells. I was told that it was found early and was stage 1. I chose to have the lumpectomy,” Amy shared.
Amy went into the hospital for the lumpectomy. Part of the procedure is a mammogram to mark the area for surgery. When they did it, they said that the area looked different. Smaller, but other spots throughout the right breast. She was told that the lumpectomy couldn’t be done due to what looked like changes in the right breast. She was sent for an MRI in Dillon the same day.
Days later Amy got a call that the MRI result was ‘normal findings’. Nothing showed in either breast.
Dr. Murrell was still concerned because of the original biopsy results but was unsure because of the clear MRI report. She sent Amy for 2nd biopsy to check the additional spots that had been seen on the day of the scheduled lumpectomy. “This time they biopsied two areas. One biopsy was benign, the other was DCIS. Dr. Murrell said that I would have to have a mastectomy on the right because of two positive biopsies in two different locations.”
“I chose to have a bilateral mastectomy for better peace of mind and because of the increased risk on the left side. I also chose to undergo reconstructive surgery.”
“On January 23, 2018 I had a double mastectomy. Dr Murrell was joined in surgery by Dr Joe Griffin who is a plastic surgeon. During the 4 to 5-hour surgery, Dr Murrell did the double mastectomy and Dr Griffin placed expanders in to begin the reconstruction phase. I was released the following day to go home”, Amy said.
The right breast contained two spots of DCIS, grade 1. The left breast was clear. No cancer was found in lymph nodes.
They were able to remove it all with the double mastectomy. No further treatment or medications were needed.
As part of the reconstruction process, Amy has gone weekly for injections into expanders to slowly stretch the skin and pectoral muscles that were cut during the mastectomy surgery. After her injections are finished, Amy will have to undergo a final surgery to replace the expanders with implants. She is in hopes that she’ll be able to have this done during this summer.
For the next three years Amy will have checkups every six months. After that, once per year. Her genetic testing shows her with no increased risk of other common cancers. Her cancer could have only been detected by mammograms.
Amy shared this plea February 3 on Facebook®.
‘If you are around age 40 and not receiving routine yearly mammograms, START NOW!!! IT SAVED MY
LIFE!!! If my breast cancer had not been found at the early stage it was, my battle would have involved much more than just bilateral mastectomies and reconstruction surgeries. As physically and emotionally tough as my journey has been, it could have and would have been much worse if not found when it was. I am 43 years old and have been receiving routine yearly mammograms for four years now.
The outcome would have been so much worse had I not been receiving these mammograms.
I have no family history of breast cancer, no signs or symptoms and I am in my early forties.
I am the reason you should receive mammograms!!! I fought the battle and I WON but only because it was found in the early stages.’
On April 4 Amy turned 44. She can look forward to watching her children grow up. A routine annual mammogram saved Amy’s life. She wants everyone to understand just how vital early detection is. It can truly save your life, just like it saved hers.