Q&A with Erin Mosley
Erin Mosley, 37. Director of Scheduling, Office of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Married, 2 sons.
How did you find out you had breast cancer?
I just decided to go have a mammogram because I was 35 years old. I did not have any symptoms. After my first baseline mammogram at Woman’s Hospital I was called back for an ultrasound, then a fine needle biopsy. Thanks to the wonderful radiologists at Woman’s, they detected my cancer.
What was your reaction?
Disbelief, scared to death and overwhelmed with anxiety and fear. Then I went into survival mode – literally. I couldn’t let this cancer get me. I have a wonderful husband, children, family and friends to continue on for. I need to see my children grow up. I want to see them graduate and get married.
What treatment methods did you undergo?
I had a double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction. I opted to take both breasts. I didn’t want this demon to come back on the other side in a few years. It was a tough decision, but the absolute right one for me, and I have never regretted it. I had six rounds of chemotherapy and a year of Herceptin that was administered through my chemo port. Now, I take the oral medication, Tamoxifen, for five years.
How has your illness affected your perspective on life?
I try not to sweat the small stuff as much. I truly appreciate each and every day … Anything can happen to anyone at any time. It is important to realize that sick or not, it is truly a gift to wake up each and every day. We are all very blessed if we get tomorrow.
Do you have any advice for others with breast cancer?
One very important thing is to come up with a good game plan for your support system, and find the best doctors for you … Once you decide on your game plan, move forward and start taking control back over your life! Another important thing is to realize you are not going to die tomorrow … If you are given this cross to bear, there is a plan and a reason for it. Once you get over the initial shock, take the cross, learn from it and teach others along the way.