In May of 2018 I was diagnosed with DCIS breast cancer after several diagnostic tests. It was shocking and scary to hear the word “cancer”, I don’t have a family history of cancer in general or of breast cancer. It was also very distressing when the doctor told me that even though my cancer was at an early stage, the area affected was large and I needed a mastectomy.
At the time of my diagnosis I was working in the Research & Development department of a local pharmaceutical company. I liked my job but a few months after my breast cancer I decided to retire. While transitioning into my retirement life, I discovered that I had endometrial cancer. That meant more surgery! I was fortunate, my endometrial cancer was an early stage and no other treatments were recommended after my surgery.
The Coalition has been my rock since the beginning! When I saw my surgeon in 2018, after discussing the need for a mastectomy I asked him to suggest a support group and he recommended the Breast Cancer Coalition. I called and joined the Coalition the same week.
The very first group I joined was the Thursday Evening Networking Group. It was the best decision I ever made! Here I found the information and support I needed so much before my surgery. Everyone was supportive, caring and had a welcome sense of humor.
I attended many of the Coalition’s programs and classes. I am part of the Advocacy Committee and a trained PALS (Peer Advocates Lending Support) mentor for those newly diagnosed. In August 2021, I became the Research Administrator at the Breast Cancer Coalition.
Cancer took me by surprise, threw my life in chaos for a short while, but in the end, changed my life in a positive way. Today I don’t take anything for granted, I know things can change at any moment. I enjoy my family and friends, eat better, exercise more and celebrate every day.