Happy Birthday, you have breast cancer! My 49th birthday, was a very special yet terrifying day. I felt like I was in the best health of my life; finally being able to focus more on myself after raising two daughters. My husband and I had embraced being empty nesters and were looking forward to all that the future had to hold. This one short phone call seemed to put the brakes on everything.
Ultimately, I was diagnosed with stage 3 invasive lobular carcinoma and started a year of doctor appointments, surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. As I look back at it now, those are not the moments I remember from that time. What I remember is being overwhelmed with the love of my husband, daughters, family and friends. I found a deeper connection with people who amazed me with their kindness and care. I found doctors and nurses who gave freely of their time, expertise and compassion. I found the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester.
The Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester was a beacon of light in a dark time. From my initial meeting with Holly Anderson, to the meditation and yoga classes, to the various fundraisers; I found hope, understanding and joy. I especially found comfort in meeting women who had survived their cancer diagnosis and where embracing life and giving back to their community. Meeting these brave survivors gave me hope that I could be one too! I feel incredibly blessed that I will soon be celebrating my 5 year anniversary of my breast cancer birthday gift. Thank you to BCCR for being such an important part of this milestone!