Even after her annual mammogram revealed something suspicious, Holly Fesperman wasn’t terribly concerned. She’d been called back for further testing a few times before for questionable results only for additional tests to confirm benign fibroids.
This time, however, additional testing revealed something much more ominous. After an MRI, biopsies and additional mammography, her diagnosis was confirmed. The Carvers Bay High School teacher, 52, had cancer in not just one, but both breasts and each was a different type of cancer, one more aggressive than the other.
“It was one of the most surreal moments,” says Fesperman, a mother of two, about learning her diagnosis. “Unfortunately, it was not the news we wanted. At that point, I thought, ‘I’m dead.’ I knew I was dying.
“My emotions were everywhere. You just think about the people you love. And all I could think about was my kids.”
Fesperman’s husband, Eddie, was with her when Dr. Angela Mislowsky, her breast cancer surgeon with Tidelands Health Breast Center, our region’s only surgical practice dedicated solely to breast health, delivered the news on Nov. 20.
“We do have a handful of patients that develop cancer in each breast, and sometimes they present like Holly did with two totally different types of breast cancer,” Dr. Mislowsky says.
Together, they discussed treatment options and next steps, and “we hit the ground running,” Fesperman says.