May will mark 19 years since I was diagnosed with breast cancer – the very week I turned 25. I had only been married just over a year, and we were even living with my parents while my husband was in law school. Life had yet to really begin for us.
I had a double mastectomy, chemo and plastic surgery my 25th year.. About a year after I finished treatment while teaching elementary school (and I 100% wholeheartedly believed it was OVER) I noticed a lymph node was rock hard on the left side of my neck. Cancer again. This go-around at 27 years old, I spent the year getting a hysterectomy, having radiation and 6 more months of chemo.
On to the good part. At 29 I became a mom for the first time! We adopted our son Kaleb from birth. 19 months later we adopted another son, Chase! They are 14 and 12 today and I continue to be healthy! This journey is not what I would have guessed in any lifetime, but I’m GRATEFUL.
Cancer taught me how fragile life is at a young age. In my case, cancer was a blessing as it brought me to our two sons, whom have made life absolutely fulfilling, joyful, crazy, and filled with LOVE. HE KNEW. I was meant to be their mom.