Stories about breast cancer that can inspire and inform

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How Breast Cancer Changed My Life

This is Katrina Craiker’s breast cancer story in her own words.  

My family is familiar with breast cancer. Three of my paternal aunts had breast cancer, and one passed away from the disease. But I never expected it would happen to me.  

I was diagnosed when I was 27 years old with stage 2B ER/PR+ breast cancer. Genetic testing showed I have the BRCA2 gene mutation. Suddenly my life changed in ways I never imagined. 

It was overwhelming. I had 16 rounds of chemotherapy, a double mastectomy with reconstruction, a full hysterectomy to prevent ovarian cancer and 25 radiation therapy treatments.  

At first, I lost myself as I went through this journey. I was angry, frustrated, upset. Knowing I can’t have children was very upsetting. None of this fit in with how I planned my life to be. 

When things get hard, I tell myself this: “The body can achieve what the mind believes, girl you already have what it takes, you can and you will because you got this.” 

I’ve become such a strong and positive person throughout this. I’m a good, caring, loving person. And I am starting to love myself again, day by day. I’m starting to become stronger and stronger each day. 

My family and my husband’s family have supported me through everything. My friends, my team of doctors and God have helped me, too.  

The journey has been exhausting, but in the end it was worth it. I’ve learned so much from having breast cancer. I’m proud to say I’m a pink sister for life. 

Statements and opinions expressed are that of the individual and do not express the views or opinions of Susan G. Komen. This information is being provided for educational purposes only and is not to be construed as medical advice. Persons with breast cancer should consult their healthcare provider with specific questions or concerns about their treatment.