My cancer journey began in the 1980’s, when my mom and my paternal aunt were diagnosed with ovarian and then breast cancer each! So I always believed that I might be facing the same diagnosis in my future.
Nevertheless, each time I heard a doctor tell me I had cancer, I was shocked. Every pelvic ultrasound I had for almost 15 years never revealed any problems. Still, a few months after my ultrasound in 2004, 3 tumors were found in my belly after I found my weight dropping and my pants hard to fasten.
I was again shocked in 2017 when a slight change in my annual mammogram turned out to be a stage 2 Invasive Lobular Cancer in my left breast. I opted for a bilateral mastectomy and the biopsy revealed a different cancer in my right breast. I didn’t need any other treatments, but I am taking an aromatase inhibitor. I approached each surgery as just a huge abyss in my life… dark and scary, but something to be dealt with and to move on from.
Approaching my 1 year breast ‘cancer-versary’ I found my way to the BCCR. My family and friends had relegated my cancer to the past, but I felt profoundly changed. I didn’t know how to go on from where I was in my life’s journey.
At the coalition I met many other women who were also asking, “What’s next for me?” My answer is to be of service to my sisters in cancer. I am now on the Advisory Committee, I attend weekly Brown Bag meetings and became a mentor for the Pals program.
My third ‘cancer-versary’ has just passed and I have greatly increased my education in cancer these last two years. Monthly seminars at the BCCR have lead me to eat and live cleaner. I am staying strong physically and mentally with Zoom Yoga classes and Mindfulness and Meditation classes.
The friendships and caring I have found at the coalition, keeps me looking forward to what lies ahead and shined some light into the darkness of cancer.