I am a Daughter, Wife and Mother. I am a Webster Town Councilwoman, a Registered Dental Hygienist and a Breast Cancer Coalition Board Member. I am a breast cancer survivor of 3 ½ years.
The call came the day after the biopsy. “You have ductal carcinoma in situ”. I knew enough about pathology to know that carcinoma was not the word I wanted to hear, but “in situ” offered hope. The next three weeks were a blur of visits to surgeons and oncologists.
I was accustomed to having control of my life and I now felt like I had none! I was confronted with unfamiliar terms, and choices that I was unprepared to make. I was now a member of a “club” to which none of us wants to belong! I was so fortunate to be surrounded by a loving family and friends and a team of excellent health care professionals.
My first experience with the Breast Cancer Coalition was a packet of information that arrived in the mail shortly after my diagnosis. My friend Joyce had given my name to the office; the packet included information about the organization and various programs that were offered. There was a sincere, heartfelt letter from Holly Anderson offering help at any time. My first mistake was not rushing right over to 840 University Avenue! I now realize how much denial I was dealing with. Fast forward ten months, Joyce invited my husband and I to attend the ARTrageous Affair. I met so many wonderful and inspirational women that evening and for the first time realized that I too, was part of this powerful army of survivors.
When I was diagnosed, I was told that I was lucky- I had the “good type of cancer.” What I know now is that I have a wonderful, loving husband, Richard, who has been my rock and biggest fan. Our daughter, Jessica, is completing her last year of medical school and continues to make us proud of the warm and caring young woman she has become. I am also enriched by friendships that I have made while on this journey. Now 3 ½ years later I know that I am not lucky, I am blessed.