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My Personal Story
As a 15-year Breast Cancer Survivor, I am honored to share my story and lessons learned throughout my personal journey, including my Every Day Heroes that supported me along the way.
Being diagnosed in my early forties was shocking to say the least. The youngest of 3 sisters with no family history, the news was hard to accept at first. Luckily for me, my breast cancer was found early by a mammogram, in which I had skipped one year because I was “too busy” to find time in my schedule to make the appointment.
First Lesson to share, do not skip your mammogram no matter how hectic your schedule. Early detection saves lives, and I am proof.
My family, friends and co-workers offered me so much support throughout my entire journey, which included chemo, surgery and radiation, by just simply picking up the phone and calling me, stopping by for a brief visit or by just bringing me a home cooked meal. These small acts of kindness meant so much to me and gave me the strength to keep moving forward and not let the cancer consume me.
When I think of the Every Day Heroes in my life there are many, but I want to take the time to recognize my parents. They were truly my ROCK and my biggest HEROES. They dedicated so much of their time and gave me so much strength and support to beat this disease. They drove me to all 12 of my chemo treatments, despite their use of a cane and walker, and not to mention driving 12 miles each way into the city with all the congestion and traffic, which was probably not good for my Dad’s blood pressure. My mother would sit with me during every chemo treatment, which gave us some “mother daughter time” to talk about everything and anything.
I will treasure those times with her forever, especially when I saw others coming for treatment by themselves. With both of my parents now gone, I think back at how blessed I was to have them be a part of my very personal and sometimes challenging breast cancer journey.
Second Lesson to share, keep family and friends close and try and maintain as much normalcy in your life as possible, and that includes keeping a positive attitude.
Also, I am so blessed and proud to work in Breast Imaging at GE, as the Clinical Marketing Leader. Every day, I feel that I am making a contribution by helping to educate, create awareness, and provide solutions with the latest technology to help promote early detection.
Third and final Lesson to share, always give back, it will not only make you feel accomplished, but it will also provide such purpose to your life. It certainly does for me.
I could not have done it without them, or for that matter, without all my Every Day Heroes. Stay strong!!
(3) Pisano et al. Diagnostic Performance of Digital versus Film Mammography for Breast –Cancer Screening. NEJM 2005;353:1773.