One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in her lifetime. That means that nearly everyone has someone in their lives who has been impacted by the disease. Without exception, everyone has someone they would move mountains to protect from breast cancer’s deadly grip.
As part of our “Who’s Your One” Series with Susan G. Komen, we sat down with Glenn and Marie to learn about their journey with breast cancer and how Marie refused to let the diagnosis take her from her children.
Question: If you can, try to take us back to the moment leading up to your diagnosis and what that diagnosis was.
Answer: (Marie) – [Glenn and I] had just started rekindling our relationship and I was a single mom. I had two kids and I was healthy and strong. I had a mammogram six months prior and I found the lump myself. I was really stressed out at work and I was like, ‘nah, can’t be.’ So, when the doctor came out to tell me, I just kind of froze. I was like, ‘okay, so what’s next?’ I have two kids and I’ve got to be here for them. Part of our shared story is we had lost spouses. And so, my kids didn’t have their father. And I just said, no way am I going anywhere. I have to be there [to] raise them.
When it came time to tell Glenn, knowing he had lost a spouse and his children didn’t have a mother, [I wondered] how was I going to tell him that I was diagnosed with breast cancer?
Q: Glenn, can you recall when Marie told you of her diagnosis?
A: I remember the call vividly … I froze for a minute and I wasn’t certain what to say. As she mentioned, I had just lost a spouse a few years ago. I was reminded quickly of my grandfather … he died from breast cancer.
Q: Marie, tell us a little bit about how you chose your treatment and the best course of action for you.
A: Well, breast cancer was not in my family. When I was diagnosed I asked a doctor, well, how is this? And he said well it always starts with someone and I guess you’re the someone … I decided on the chemo. They wanted to do aggressive treatment, like I said because [in six months it went from] nothing to something. That was tough. I wouldn’t wish chemo on my enemy. There were times when I just felt like I couldn’t go any further … and I am a strong person of faith, but I would just sit on the floor and go, “God, why me? Why do I have to go through this?”