Friday, August 19, 2022
Home / Power Stories / Jennifer’s Story (Breast Cancer)

Jennifer’s Story (Breast Cancer)

Jennifer's Story (Breast Cancer) Unfortunately, cancer is no stranger to my family and friends. With my mother, nana, both grandfathers, several friends, and just recently my father being diagnosed, cancer is a word I have heard way too often.

It was Friday, April 13th, 2001 (Good Friday) when I heard the words, “You have cancer.” The morning I woke up to scratch an itch on the side of my left breast was the beginning of a life changing event (which I call a blessing in disguise). I was 26 years old and had just moved back home from living in Florida for two years. I had the time of my life there, but I was happy to be back home in Mass with my family.

After a lumpectomy & sentinel node biopsy, it was determined that I had stage II breast cancer. Chemotherapy wasn’t quite as bad as I had expected, I thought it would be a lot worse. I would be laid up on the couch for a week straight after each treatment, barely able to move with no energy. Yes, it sucked, but I kept a positive attitude which I believe is a huge reason I got through it all. I had my good days and bad days, but the good always outweighed the bad. I shaved my head about two and a half weeks after my first treatment. I wanted to conquer the side effect before it conquered me. I was okay with it because I knew that eventually it would grow back and I kept thinking of all the pros of not having any hair. Hey, it took me less time to get ready for work…that was a plus.
My last treatment was on September 11, 2001. What a day of mixed emotions that was.

Then it was on to radiation treatments, which were a breeze compared to the chemotherapy. The only pain was I had to travel 40 minutes, everyday, five days a week for seven weeks. Forty minutes of travel for a 90 second treatment. It got a little tiring, but I was done before I knew it.

I couldn’t have gotten through it without all of my loving & very supportive family & friends! Each and every one of them played a huge role in my recovery whether they know it or not. My mom being a nurse helped quite a bit as well. 🙂 A year after my diagnosis, I decided to go back to school for Massage Therapy. I wanted to do something where I could help others feel better & it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Now, sometimes I can get a little down and tend to worry about the small things, but when I do, I look at a picture I have on my bureau of my nurse giving me my chemo treatment and I think to myself, “Today is better than that day and I can get through this.”

Twelve years later and I am still cancer free. God has blessed me with a gorgeous little boy who is now six and I enjoy every moment I spend with him. He is my whole world. I also volunteer some of my time to the American Cancer Society as the regional coordinator for the ‘Look Good Feel Better’ program in my area. It’s a program for women who are going through cancer treatments. ACS volunteers come in and show the ladies how to apply make-up, take care of their skin, show them how to care for their wigs, and show them beautiful & imaginative ways on how to tie scarfs or decorate hats to cover your head. It’s a wonderful program which I encourage all women to attend. I love meeting other survivors and sharing my story, while encouraging them to stay strong. God has given me a second chance and I am so very blessed!!

Submitted 7-16-2013

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.

Check Also

dianes story breast and ovarian cancer

Diane’s Story (Breast and Ovarian Cancer)

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2010. I had a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *