Breast cancer diagnosis stories can help newly diagnosed breast cancer patients learn from women who have faced similar experiences before. Jill’s breast cancer diagnosis story was shared in the October chapter of the Breastlink Angels 2013 calendar.
Breast Cancer Diagnosis Stories | Jill C.
- Jill C. – Age 46
- Diagnosis – October 2009
- Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
Six days before my 43rd birthday, my OBGyn, Dr. Nancy Towbin, found a lump in my left breast. She said it didn’t feel like cancer to her. I didn’t hear much after the word “lump,” and was lucky enough to have a mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy the same day. I remember thinking that I could not possibly have cancer… I had three children who needed their mom. Two days later, I was told I had Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. I was told the tumor was relatively small, but very aggressive. I spent my 43rd birthday getting an MRI and meeting my Oncologist, Dr. John Link, for the first time.
Sometimes in life there are fleeting moments that pass you by before you really know what happened. Later, you realize that you are lucky to have survived. But surviving cancer is not so mercifully swift. My treatment started with eight rounds of chemo. Fourteen days after my first chemo, my closest friend shaved my head. As my two daughters watched, the first words out of their mouths were “Mom, you look awesome bald, you don’t need a wig.” Chemo was grueling, but very necessary. It saved my life. I had a complete pathological response to the chemotherapy. By the time I had my lumpectomy, there was no lump, no cancer cells!!! I then had 33 rounds of radiation. Dr. Link told me “now go live your life. You will live to be an old lady.” I can honestly say, “old” never sounded so good!!!!!
I got past the “why me” and “this isn’t fair.” I told my kids, everyone has a struggle in their life, and this is what God chose for me. I now realize that I am so much stronger and I can do so much more than I ever knew. I am lucky to have an incredible support system. My husband, children, friends and parents have been with me every step of the way. Sometimes they just held my hand, sometimes they pushed me to do things I did not believe I could do.
I chose to be a Volunteer Patient Representative at Breastlink. I sit with women who have just been diagnosed with breast cancer. I sit with women in the infusion room. I want them to see that the hair does grow back, the smile returns to your face, and although there is a new “normal,” life will be normal again. I think one of the biggest ways to overcome any trial in life and to heal from any kind of experience, is by helping those around you. By lifting those around you, you end up lifting yourself as well.
May today there be peace within. May you trust your highest power that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you…