JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Pam Reckner had a fun day at the beach, but she came home with a sunburn. Then a mosquito bit her on her upper breast.
Her crazy story ends up with a life-saving decision.
She couldn't really scratch the mosquito bite because it made her sunburn hurt worse.
So she improvised. She pressed down on the area to soothe the itch, and that's when she found a hard lump.
"It felt like an almond," Reckner says.. And, because she is faithful to following Buddy Check on First Coast News, she did not ignore it.
Her daughter felt the lump, as well. Her daughter, studying to become a nurse, was especially tuned in to early detection. She says it was "different than all the regular lumps and bumps women have in their breasts."
Reckner called a doctor and tests showed it was triple negative, an aggressive form of breast cancer. But she caught it early enough to save her life.
Her husband of some 20+ years is grateful. "She's my buddy," he says. "She's my best friend."
On top of that, Gammy is grandma to six grandchildren. She looks at a wall full of their photos and smiles, "This is my life. MY LIFE."
Reckner was treated at UF Health and enjoyed ringing the victory chimes at the end of her treatment.
In April she gets to travel to New Zealand to compete with her local dragon boat team in an international meet. Her team is comprised of breast cancer warriors like her.
The team has a fun name, "Mammoglams."
For Grammy, it's one more reason she's celebrating beating breast cancer.
If Buddy Check has helped you find your breast cancer, Buddy Check founder Jeannie Blaylock at First Coast News would love to chat with you.
You can text her at 904-361-8289.
Buddy Check began 30 years ago with our partner, Baptist/MD Anderson. The program to remind women to do self exams and get mammograms has saved thousands of lives.