In the early morning hours of November 24th, a friend from out of town and I were talking when I said it out loud for the first time, 'I have a lump in my breast that won't go away. I'm scared. What if it's something serious? I don't have an infrastructure in place if I get sick. Who's going to take care of me?"
I'm a very independent person, and asking for help does not come easy for me.
10 months later, I'm a Breast Cancer Survivor.
That friend was the first of many around the world who supported me through a journey I never thought I'd be on. There's no history of Cancer in my family whatsoever. I'm young, healthy and fit. My own doctor was shocked with my diagnosis and right away told me, 'we'll never know why. Don't focus on that.' I simply don't fit the profile and had never thought I'd be the 'one' of the 1 in 8 women who would be diagnosed with this disease.
The remarkable part is how friends from my past and present, who were aware of my new reality, supported me day after day. That friend I spoke to that Sunday morning, dragged me to the doctor's office and pushed me to have the mammogram. He and others traveled to be at my side for the surgery. Others were on the phone during doctor's appointments. One spent every Sunday evening just sitting with me and watching TV. My sisters (real and through friendship) listened to my every word while I learned what Breast Cancer had done to my body. A childhood friend connected me with a woman who had also been through this journey, and she gave me hours of her time - a total stranger - and prepared me for what was to come. So did a close friend's mother. My co-workers made what could have been a stressful time so much easier. This is just the beginning of a long list.
But, there was one person who guided my every moment. An executive at my office had been diagnosed 5 weeks before me and 'held' my hand every step of the way. My guardian angel. My Cancer Sister or Mother (we debated which one as we're close in age). She shared every step of her experience making mine less frightening. A new job has separated us, but I think about her everyday, sad at how we had this happen, but so blessed that she was there.
I support this campaign because I am thankful for the awareness of this disease that gave me the space to share what was happening to me. Iwas never alone. I had an infrastructure of friends and family, near and far, who gave me the most incredible gift during the worst experience of my adult life, their never-ending love and support. To them, I say thank you and I love you all.
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The best defense against breast cancer is finding it early. Pledge to schedule a mammogram with your doctor today A mammogram is an x-ray picture of the breast. Screening mammograms are used to check for breast cancer in women who have no signs or symptoms of the disease. Diagnostic mammograms are used to check for breast cancer after a lump or other sign or symptom of the disease has been…
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