SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Fighting breast cancer

October 16, 2012

From the mouths of survivors

(Continued)

Mullen needs more reconstructive surgery, but she says her health is good.

Meet Meridith Stevens

Meridith Stevens was diagnosed with inflammatory invasive ductal carcinoma on Oct. 26, 2011. It had spread to some of her lymph nodes.

“I followed through on a suspicious lump in my left breast and then other topical changes that were apparent,” she says. “I don’t remember exactly when it was, but I think my suspicions started in early August. I had felt a hard lump in my breast, perhaps an inch away from my nipple. I noticed it by chance, either adjusting a bra or showering. Prior, I had not been good about self-examinations because I had cystic breasts and I blew off self-examining because I figured I’d always be feeling lumpiness, so I might as well leave it up to the experts to determine the differences.”

This time, it was different though. “It was more solid than I had ever felt. I was in complete disbelief because, for goodness sake, I had just had a clear mammogram in April. There was no way the lump could be anything serious.”

As time went on, the lump got harder and bigger and began to swell, and Stevens’ nipple began to discolor and invert. The skin over the lump and neighboring area started turning red and swelling, too.

She was treated with two rounds of chemotherapy and a mastectomy and then radiation. “Next July, I will have the right breast removed and the first of my reconstruction surgery for both breasts,” she says. “Physically, besides having a higher blood pressure than at the start, residual fatigue from chemo treatments, and having to lose weight and get in condition, I’m otherwise healthy.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Fighting breast cancer
Local News

Local News
  • City gets four bids for McKay School BEVERLY -- In the latest round of bids for the McKay School property, the city will consider four new proposals it received last week. The most recent proposals mark the fourth time the city has reviewed bids on the property and the second effort for

    August 20, 2014

  • Police to put down their pens, write electronic tickets BOSTON -- State troopers will soon toss handwritten tickets in favor of electronic citations to save money and time, and local police across the state could eventually follow suit. State police using the system will swipe or scan a driver's license t

    August 20, 2014

  • 140819_SN_DLE_VAPOR2 No 'butts' about it: Vapor stores pop up despite e-cig concerns Michael Greene sells e-cigarettes because they saved his life. And if they were available in the United States 17 years ago, they might have also spared his father, who smoked four packs of cigarettes a day for 40 years. "If you put too many regulati

    August 20, 2014 3 Photos

  • 140819_SN_DLE_MURPHY4 109 days, 2 new lungs later, Essex Deputy Sheriff Murphy comes home

    Dozens of friends and family members lined up on Balcomb Street Tuesday evening to greet Newton Murphy as he arrived home from his double lung transplant. Murphy, the Essex County deputy sheriff, had been in the hospital for 109 days after his surge

    August 20, 2014 8 Photos

  • Sex offender Matthew Delima, who fled with teen, gets 2-10 years

    SALEM -- A judge Tuesday returned a homeless Level 3 sex offender to state prison for two to 10 years, but he said that after reading police reports and other records in the case, he would have imposed even more time. The reason Judge Timothy Feeley

    August 20, 2014 3 Stories