BENEFITING: Gildas Club-Metro Detroit
I am a fun-loving, kind-hearted, full-of-life seven year breast cancer survivor! My name is Tracie Kania and I accept my cancer reality as a mysterious life lesson. At thirty two I was diagnosed with stage 3B inflammatory breast cancer two months almost to the day after my wedding day. Survival was my number one goal. After all, I had a new husband to discover the world with. I beat myself up with two rounds of weekly chemotherapy (plus daily adriamycin pills); 27 weeks total. I had every possible side effect in the book, literally, but thankfully was able to push through and continued to teach my class of students. They were a phenomenal support circle. I moved on to have a unilateral mastectomy with no reconstruction. I hoped to be a mother one day and preserved the other breast. We put my ovaries in hibernation with more drugs keeping this possibility in mind. Unfortunately I am still waiting for that miracle to happen. I wrapped up treatment with my ‘insurance plan’ of 33 days of radiation. This final form of treatment was probably the most interesting as they had to stop my breathing about ten times each radiation session. Luckily for me my swimmer lungs allowed me to tolerate this.
Today I am happy and living life to the fullest. My husband and I love to travel in the U. S. and the world. Our last big trip was to Thailand. I continue to teach and I am fascinated by the scientific discoveries that my students make every day. My husband and I love to participate in running, adventure, and triathlon competitions and we work hard to stay healthy and active. I have two wonderful dogs that make me smile each day and I have a family that embraces me through all my highs and lows. I maintain my cancer check up routine and look forward to sharing my story for many, many years to come.