Kim Rowland



Hi, my name is Kim and I am a nurse. I’d like to share a story that happened 10 years ago. A woman called my work and was 26 and had twins who were almost 2 and a newborn baby girl. She told the doctor that while she was breastfeeding she noticed a lump in her right breast. The doctor told her “don’t worry, you are 26 and are breastfeeding. It’s probably just a clogged duct”. Not comfortable with this answer she went someone else and got a second opinion. It’s a good thing she did because in the same week after and ultrasound and a biopsy she was dx with stage 2 breast cancer. The reason that this story is very near and dear to my heart is because that woman was me 10 years ago. My name is Kim, I am 36 years old, I am a nurse and a mother of 3 and a 10 year breast cancer survivor. Breast cancer affects everyone. It doesn’t matter your age, your sex or your religion. How many people have known someone affected with breast cancer whether it be a friend family member or yourself? I had no risk factors. I never smoked and had no family history. I even did things that were supposed to decrease the risk factors. I had my 3 babies before the age of 30 and breastfed them all. When I heard the words breast cancer my world stopped. Everything stood still except my brain was thinking a mile a minute. I had many thoughts going through my head. I was sad. I had to stop breastfeeding my baby immediately. I was fearful. I had to stop working. Would we be ok financially? I was angry. How could my body do this to me? I was nervous. I was up against the fight of my life. I realized that I wasn’t alone in this fight. Support is huge. I had great support from my family friends and the community. We fought it together and because of it we are a stronger family. I had surgeries to remove the lump and then went through 4 months of chemotherapy. I decided to have a bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction because I wanted to make sure I did everything I could to fight this. I had a fairly new procedure done where (in simple terms) take the breast tissure out and take the tissue on you abdomen and replace them in the skin of the breasts so t hey look pretty much the same. Cancer changes your life. A lot of bad things happened but a; lot of good things happened too. I am stronger because of it. I look at life differently and I cherish every day. My advice for others is simple. Know your own body. Be your own medical advocate. Early detection saves lives. We are ready to celebrate 10 years cancer free with my husband and my 10 year old daughter and my 11 year old twins:)