My journey began the summer of 2011. I was visiting family in New York and I wasn’t feeling myself. By October, I was down 25 pounds and going to emergency room almost every other day thinking it was my migraine headaches. Then the ER doctor came in and hit me with a ton of bricks. He proclaimed that it wasn’t my headaches and that I needed to go to my GP for a full body work up. I made the appointment ASAP.
My doctor immediately took me out of work indefinitely. He began with the most obvious, which they checked me for gasteral types of cancer. For months I went through many tests. Finally, he ordered a mammogram. I went and the radiologist saw what looked like “snow.” He told me it was no big deal and that I needed to come back in six months. I didn’t feel comfortable with his response. You see my family has a history of breast cancer and my aunt was battling Stage 4 breast cancer. With that being said, I called my Aunt who was a nurse and told her my concerns. She immediately set up a second opinion. I had yet another mammogram done. They saw the same “snow.” Then my doctor ordered a sonogram which revealed more.
At the beginning of December I went in for a surgical biopsy. On December 27, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The hardest part for me wasn’t that I had cancer, but how was I going to tell my son’s and daddy. I began to ponder these thoughts. I went to my sister first. She was devastated. I still was confused at how I was going to tell my most important people in my life, my daddy and boys. I sat each individual child down and told them. To my amazement, they took the news well. My daddy on the other hand didn’t take it well. I made a promise to them all that I would fight and live! I also promised them that I wouldn’t miss any activities nor shed tears over this beast that I had been diagnosed with.
On February 9, I arrived at the hospital early morning. I had a double mastectomy at the age of 41 years old. I knew my life would never be the same. I fought this beast for over a year, going down to 89 pounds at my lowest and I was in and out of the hospital for failure to thrive. I’m happy to say today that I’m back in the gym, running races in honor or memory of cancer patients, climbing mountains for breast cancer, and currently I’m training to do a fitness show. My motto throughout my cancer was, “Never Give Up, Never Give In.” I live with that motto daily. I decided that I needed to pay it forward. I started a support Facebook page for people who survived cancer and want to get their lives back. In November I began my page called Getting Fit After Cancer, “Never Give Up, Never Give In”. My goal now is to inspire people.
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.