Cancer helped me to learn to value my time and only say “yes” to the things that I want to do!
I was still breastfeeding my youngest son when I started having weird pains and itching in my left breast. I spoke to my OBGYN about it and was advised that it was most likely do to hormones. About 6 months later, I was still having the pain and went back. They said that maybe it was an infection and offered antibiotics. I declined and pushed further and they decided to send me for a breast ultrasound. The ultrasound led to a mammogram, and then a biopsy. The biopsy came back as Stage 0 DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma in Situ). It was very widespread calcifications, so a mastectomy was recommended. I opted for a double mastectomy to hopefully not have to do ongoing medication or radiation. I had a double mastectomy and no meds or radiation were needed. My reconstruction failed - but that’s a whole different story. My advice is to trust your gut and push for answers and tests until you are satisfied.
The greatest gift cancer gave me was the opportunity to transform into the strongest and best version of myself. Cancer taught me that we need to give pain the space to breathe, in order to heal. Every painful, heart wrenching situation gives us perspective, and reminds us how we only have this one life to live. It gives us an opportunity to grow and become stronger.
Cancer has completely changed my life and I am thankful for the place I’m at. I’ve become a mom, participated in national fundraisers, advocacy, and even shared my story with legislators who are fighting to update the Breast Care Equity Act.