Marjane Green might never have found the tumor in her left breast if she hadn't felt a pain in her right breast.
The Houston-area resident wasn't too concerned since she'd had a mammogram just two months earlier. And, she had been dealing with recurring cysts in her breasts for more than 30 years as a result of hormone therapy following a hysterectomy. But this pain was different than anything she'd felt before.
Marjane's right breast was infected, and during her treatment, her doctor decided to biopsy an abnormality in the left. That's when Marjane received her breast cancer diagnosis.
Marjane says the seemingly serendipitous sequence of events was part of a higher plan.
"I did not worry at all," Marjane says.
Her faith allowed her to face breast cancer without fear.
Receiving breast cancer treatment close to home
But the care she received at MD Anderson helped, too.
Marjane knew she needed to take an active role in her treatment from the moment she received her diagnosis. She wanted to have the best doctors and breast cancer treatment options, and she knew she didn't need to leave Houston to find them.
Marjane's husband was working for MD Anderson at the time, and she knew this was where she wanted to receive breast cancer treatment. She came to MD Anderson to start breast cancer treatment in January 2014.
Marjane loved how, in lieu of multiple visits, she met with her surgeon, oncologist and radiation oncologist in the Nellie B. Connally Breast Center's Multi Team Clinic all at once during her first appointment. She left MD Anderson with her personalized treatment plan: first surgery, then radiation treatments.
"We were on the run from there," Marjane says. "It saved us a lot of time in the long run."
In addition to streamlining her treatment, meeting with all her doctors at once gave her the reassurance that comes with everyone being in the same room at the same time.
"I didn't have to make three different appointments to see them," she says. "It was great that they were all on the same page about everything."
After her surgery, Marjane completed her 20 days of radiation treatments even closer to home at MD Anderson in the Bay Area. The campus was minutes from her League City home, and the kind, upbeat staff made her appreciate the convenience even more.
"I loved going," she says. "I sort of miss it."
Life after breast cancer
Marjane's faith has always been strong, but now with cancer behind her, she feels compelled to share with others her experience. She stresses that a cancer diagnosis doesn't have to radically change your life or overshadow simple daily joys.
"If you want your life to change for the better, you can," she says. "It's all about choices."