It’s been a little over a week since Amber Marchese underwent a partial mastectomy in her right breast, but the Real Housewives of New Jersey star has a cause for celebration: “The surrounding tissue was not cancerous,” she tells People. “It was literally just the tumor that was cancerous. We caught it in the early stages.”
Amber is still recovering, but happy to put the four-hour procedure in the past. “I feel great now, but I was in a lot of pain when I woke up from the surgery,” she says. “I’m glad it’s over.”
Amber received a double mastectomy and chemotherapy after a Stage 1 diagnosis five years ago. The one-time breast cancer survivor was shocked when the lump she found while relaxing at home was confirmed as cancerous.
"Even though the original diagnosis demonstrated multiple tumors the chances of it recurring were very small after treatment," she says. "Ninety-five percent of the time, it doesn't come back."
"I can't even begin to describe the feeling you get when someone says you have cancer," she says. "Then to get it again after fighting so hard. I had several surgeries including a double mastectomy and chemotherapy along with other systemic treatments. I thought it was behind me."
Though Amber is grateful that the tissue surrounding the tumor is not cancerous, she does realize that the battle with the deadly disease isn’t over yet. "There's still a long road ahead of me," she says. "I am definitely going to have radiation for the next five weeks. We are still debating whether or not to do chemotherapy.”
Nevertheless, she’s looking on the bright side. "My doctor had thoroughly examined me for the past six years and never found anything," she says. "I am very blessed.”
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