I was diagnosed in May 2014 with stage 1b IDC. Grade 2 ER+, PR+ HER2- July 30, 2014 I had a Lumpectomy and had 2 lymph nodes removed. They did not get clean margins at that time but my lymph nodes were negative. I went back to surgery September 10, 2014 for more surgery. This time I got clean margins. My oncotype score was on 18 so I did not have to have chemo. I did however have 28 rounds of Radiation to my entire Left breast with 8 rounds of targeted Radiation just to the cancer bed itself. I burned very badly with that, but eventually healed. I feel that Cancer has made me slow down and be thankful for the life that God has given me. I am more caring, more observant, more loving, more at peace. It makes you realize that the small stuff doesn’t matter any more and what really matters are the people who are in your life and who bring your happiness.
Cancer has been an unexpected gift. I would not have had the opportunity to meet so many beautiful and wonderful people had it not been for that gift. And I would not have blessed by those wonderful souls. I only hope and pray I have been as much a blessing to them as well. My strength is always my Lord Jesus Christ. For I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength! The support that has given me the most help besides my family has been my team mates the Indy SurviveOars. They are Indiana’s only Dragon Boat racing team and some are breast cancer survivor just like me. They have brought such joy and purpose and meaning to my life when I thought I had none. They are there for me through thick and thin and are an extension of my family. The other source of strength for me is the awesome Cancer support group I have through St Vincent Indianapolis. We definitely are like family and I can say anything I need to say there or cry on anyones shoulder and they get it! Thirdly my church family is always there for me praying for me and lending a helping hand when I need a ride, a meal or anything else my husband or I would need. I am so very blessed. I would tell Co-Survivors to not be afraid to talk to your survivors about their cancer. Support them all your can and be sure to communicate about your fears. Remember that cancer isn’t always a death sentence and even it is the worst case or even if its not; none of us know when God has in mind to take us home to be with him. Enjoy every day as it were your last. Live every day as if it were your last. Be kind to one another, love one another. Don’t hold grudges. And always say I love you before you go to sleep or say goodbye. You never know when it will be the last time you say it.