Special to South Florida Times
Tundra King was unaware that an ultrasound of the breast could save a woman’s life. Neither was she aware that it could detect abnormalities that a mammogram could miss.
The 46-year-old Lauderhill police captain said when she had a mammogram after experiencing pain in her right breast, “I was told that they did not see anything.”
But the pain continued and, last year, during her breast self-examination, she discovered a large lump. “It was disheartening; especially because I never miss a mammogram,” she said.
Only after returning to her regular physician, King said, was she given an ultrasound. The results were not favorable, “so I went to out-patient surgery and had the lump removed.”
King said she was never offered an ultrasound by other doctors, despite her ongoing complaints about the pain.
King’s biopsy showed atypical cancer cells — cells that appear abnormal under a microscope but are not necessarily cancerous. “I had Stage zero breast cancer,” she said.
Now a one-year cancer survivor, King and author Geraldine McCall-Reese of Fort Lauderdale, also a cancer survivor, will discuss their experiences at the fourth annual Old Fashioned DSTea on Sunday, Oct. 17 at the E. Pat Larkins Center in Pompano Beach.
The event is being sponsored by the Pompano Beach Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, in conjunction with the American Cancer Society.
The main speaker, cancer survivor Paula Holland De Long, is a professional life coach, author, inspirational speaker and founder of What’s Next For My Life Inc., a Wilton Manors-based organization focusing on educating cancer survivors about managing typical emotions and issues from the time of diagnosis through life as a survivor.
The focus is to raise awareness during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, salute breast cancer survivors, encourage regular breast cancer screenings and teach women and men how to practice breast self-exams, according to Leslie Massey, the tea’s fundraising chairwoman.
“We dress in our Sunday best, serve hors d'oeuvres and drink hot tea,” Massey said of the event.
The afternoon will also feature dance and songs, testimonials, a candle lighting ceremony and the finest in high tea fare, Massey said.
Money raised at the event will go to support the Delta chapter’s participation in activities sponsored by the American Cancer Society. “This includes financial donations, member participation in the Relay For Life and the recruitment of volunteers for the Road to Recovery program,” Massey said.
The Relay For Life, an overnight event designed to celebrate survivorship and raise money for research and programs, is the American Cancer Society’s signature fundraising initiative.
The Road to Recovery program provides transportation to and from treatment for people living with cancer who do not have a ride or are unable to drive. Volunteer drivers donate their time and the use of their vehicles so patients can receive the life-saving treatments they need.
King said that she has “learned a lot” throughout her experience over the last year “and now I share my knowledge with everyone.”
To learn more about breast cancer, log on to the American Cancer Society Web site at www.cancer.org.
Cynthia Roby may be reached at CynthiaRoby@bellsouth.net.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Fourth annual Old Fashioned DSTea
WHEN: 3 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 17
WHERE: E. Pat Larkins Center, 520 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Pompano Beach.
Cost: $25 per person, advanced purchase recommended.
CONTACT: For tickets or more information, call Leslie Massey, 954-857-8847 or e-mail email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.