I was 37 years old and the mother of 4 children ages seven and under when I found a small lump in my breast. My husband and I had just sold our house to embark upon a year-long adventure of living with our big family in a tiny apartment while we built our dream home. I was blindsided to get the diagnosis that I had invasive ductal carcinoma. I became a puddle of tears, fears and emotions.
My first call was to Holly Anderson, who talked me off the dark ledge that my mind had taken me to. She connected me with young survivors who helped me make my surgical and treatment decisions. They laughed and cried with me, showed me their ports, their bald heads and their scars. I finally chose a mastectomy with tram flap abdominal reconstruction. I had the surgery and while recovering and waiting to start chemo, found out I was pregnant with my fifth child.
After much research and soul searching, we decided to continue both the pregnancy and the chemotherapy. Four rounds of chemo and seven months later, my little Sam was born. We brought him home from the hospital and soon moved into our new home.
As I write this, I am 12 and a half years from my diagnosis with five healthy and wonderful children! I have been working at the Coalition for over a year now and enjoying every day in this wonderful place. We are all so lucky to have such an incredible organization in our community!