My journey with cancer began quietly in February 2018 when I discovered a small mass in my left breast. Unsure of what to make of it, I scheduled an appointment with my doctor and thus began a whirlwind of diagnostics. After a lumpectomy to remove the presumed benign mass, I was diagnosed with a breast cancer called invasive ductal carcinoma. At the time our four children were young adults and my focus was on family, my daughter’s upcoming May wedding and full-time work as an RN. Hearing the word “cancer” felt like such a heavy weight. I processed it privately with the exception of family and a few friends. Two weeks before undergoing a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery I was introduced to the Breast Cancer Coalition by a friend who was also newly diagnosed. I was eager for support and when I reached out to them I found caring, knowledgeable, fellow survivors who offered me support in the most tangible ways. They freely gave me their time in conversation, education, and supportive communities. I was blessed with items of comfort to help me in my recovery. The BCCR helped me carry the burden of my cancer!
In my survivorship I’ve found the space to look up and be strengthened in my faith, and to live more intentionally. Some of my favorite ways to engage with other survivors have been the Friday Brown Bag Lunch group, and the PALS mentoring program for coming alongside others in their cancer experience. The BCCR has been a rich resource in my survivorship and I am so grateful!