Here is my story:
Ana Genz-Wall, 15 year Breast Cancer Survivor of Albertville, MN, is a recreational dog sledder and a member of the Siberian Husky Club of the Twin Cities. Survivor, dog musher and a marathon runner.
1997, Life is going well and I am invincible until.…….. the day I find a lump in my left breast. After having been to the doctor for a physical and had a clean bill of health, I thought, there was a lump and wondered “what is this and where did it came from?” The family doctor said I needed to see a general surgeon for further review. General surgeon said a lumpectomy was needed to find out if the lump was cancerous. One week later I went in for the lumpectomy and as soon as they brought me to the recovery room the surgeon said, “I will need you to wait here for a bit? Is there anyone that you would like with you as I go over the results?” Instantly I asked for my mom. The surgeon said that before sending the tumor to the pathologist, he was able to tell it was cancerous because of the color (Pathology reports confirmed). I bawled immediately. I thought my life had ended. I then asked for my husband, Chris and my dad. The surgeon had me immediately schedule appointments with the oncologist and the plastic surgeon. After two more weeks of doctor visits and information, surgery was scheduled for a single mastectomy. Since they didn’t know how far the cancer had spread they thought that it would be the best choice for me. The plastic surgeon said since I was so young that reconstructive surgery would also be the best choice. It was a rare form of cancer so the surgeon had used my case for a presentation he had with other doctors at a cancer seminar. All margins and lymph nodes were clean. I continued to go to follow up appointments with the doctors for five years until they declared me clear. Being so young with breast cancer made me appreciate life and how to work with insurance companies. I also was so lucky to have such good family, friends and employer. I owe so much of my support system to my husband Chris as we had only been married 1 ½ years.
For those who know me my motto is: Live Life to It’s Fullest…..You only get one chance.
Ana, it’s an honor to have you with us for the 5th year in a row!!!