A few months before her 37th birthday, Angie Christine decided to fulfill a dream of entering Jennifer Hendershott’s All Women’s Weekend bodybuilding competition. Her recently adapted exercise routine and ultra-healthy lifestyle had finally begun to pay off. She was now gaining muscle mass and confidence and she wanted to have a little breastwork done to contour her body – as a reward for her hard work and in preparation for the upcoming competition.
Following a standard pre-surgery mammogram, Angie and her husband learned that she had five cancerous tumors in her left breast. “I was totally shocked,” shared Angie, “We worked out, ate healthy and stayed active; it didn’t make sense.”
Angie’s plans quickly changed from a standard augmentation, with a competition in the fall, to putting down the weights and undergoing a bilateral mastectomy. Angie continued, “Some may not agree with my decision to do the augmentation, but it saved my life. I can guarantee you I would not have gotten a mammogram until after I turned forty.”
Thankfully, the cancer had only reached her sentinel node; the surrounding nodes were clean. So while Angie’s battle is not yet over (she anticipates just one final surgery and anti-estrogen biologic treatments) it was detected early enough to rule out the need for chemotherapy or radiation.
Angie notes that her strong faith in God has been both a comfort and a ‘medicine’. In the midst of the fight, she is excited to soon join the ranks of the true survivors. “Within the first few weeks after diagnosis,” she shared, “I signed up to walk with the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure. I wasn’t going to sit back and wallow in self-pity. I now have a team of 23 called Angie’s Angels. I can’t wait to participate in my first walk. And I promise, it won’t be my last.”
Update from Angie:
Since that posting, I was named the 2011 Honorary Team New Balance Member of the year. New Balance is an affiliate of SGK and selects one survivor in their area (which for me covers 4 counties) and honors them for their courage and strength. I spoke at a New Balance Event, I modeled at a celebration dinner (picture from this event), and was part of the closing ceremonies for the Race for the Cure on September 24th. I will also be modeling on the 12th for The Plastic Surgery Associates BC awareness Fall Spectacular event! I am not saying this all to brag, but to show that if you put one foot in front of the other, and go where God opens doors, good things can come out of a bad situation!
I have been running Your Happy Hearts.com for many years as women’s health. Since diagnosed it has taken a turn and a new fresh look. I also have Tuff Phit.com which, when ready to hit the gym again, I will be continuing to post there as well.
The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.
This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.