BENEFITING: Gildas Club-Metro Detroit
At age 46 I was diagnosed with stage 2c Breast Cancer after my annual mammogram. Fortunately I was always very conscientious about getting my screenings or the outcome may have been very different. No one expects to hear that they have cancer, and I was no exception. I was shocked and scared and did not know what to expect.
My son Nicholas was 8 years old at the time of my diagnoses and treatment, and while I was grateful that it was me, and not my child, that was diagnosed, telling him that I had cancer was the hardest thing I've ever done. Having your child ask you if you are going to die breaks your heart, and while you tell them "No I am going to be fine." there are no guarantees.
I had a radical mastectomy, 6 months of chemotherapy, 6 1/2 weeks of radiation therapy and reconstructive surgery over a span of 18 months. All while working full time as much as possible and trying to maintain as normal of a routine at home as possible to alleviate my son's fears while feeling like I got hit by a truck.
It was a journey I was fortunate enough to survive, 9 years later I am still here and today I am cancer free. The cancer, while not active, is always there. I think most cancer survivors feel that way. Every headache is a brain tumor, every back ache is bone cancer, you have to learn to lock it away in the back of your brain but it's always there waiting to make you anxious before every scan and annual exam.
Life is good today. I love to read and garden and spend precious time with my family and friends who were all there to support me through my difficult time. I work with cancer patients daily and I am grateful to be able to share my experience, strength and hope from the perspective of one who has walked the road before them.