I was also diagnosed at the young age of 32 with breast cancer. It was April 1, 1996 but this wasn’t an April Fool’s joke, it was real. I found the lump by doing my breast exams and went to the doctor and after having a mammogram and biopsy they told me I had cancer. I went 1 week later and had a mastectomy where I found out that 38 nodes were removed and out of those 18 were positive for cancer.
After seeing several different Oncologist who all told me the same thing I got myself geared up for chemo, radiation and a bone marrow transplant. As if all that I was going through wasn’t enough, I had to fight my insurance to pay for my transplant. Finally, they agreed and the process got under way.
My transplant took place on Feb.14, 1997. The transplant was pretty bad and I was very near death but with the help of the Lord and my family I pulled through. I had to stay at Georgetown University Hospital for a month and my mom and husband never left my side.
I am glad to say that it has been 5 1/2 years and so far everything is going just fine. The fear of reoccurence is always there and I think it always will be but I don’t allow it to consume me. Having cancer gave me a whole different outlook on life. I found out what was really important and focused on how to improve those areas of my life.
I have two daughters who I absolutely adore. They are now 17 and 15 years old. They had a very difficult time when I was sick but they helped out however they could. My family was angels from God. I never wanted for anything. They saw that everything was taken care of for me. Their lives were put on hold until I got better.
My best friend played an important part in my recovery also. She kept me going when I wanted to give up. I opted to wear hats instead of the expensive wig that I purchased and now am the owner of over 50 hats that all have some sort of meaning to them. I would never choose to have cancer. I don’t think anyone would but I would choose the family and friends that I have to go through it with.
Cancer can and does happen to all age groups but as I have learned it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a death sentence. I have survived this far and am very proud to call myself a survivor. When people would stare at me I would smile because I knew deep down in my heart that I would be able to hold my head up proudly and say : I AM A BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR AND ONE OF THE STRONGEST WOMEN IN THE WORLD!
Thanks so much for your time.