Breast Cancer Changed My Life And Sharsheret Helped Keep Me Whole
I had just turned 40. Professionally, I was thriving and was recently promoted. Everything on the outside seemed to be going my way. Privately, I was completely overwhelmed, depressed, and not feeling well. All mothers spread themselves too thin, right? I was juggling school activities, household chores, family time and my health was taking a back seat. At age 39 I had my first mammogram. The prescription was supposed to be for a mammogram and an ultrasound due to dense breast tissue, but my appointment was entered incorrectly. Now I would need to come back for the ultrasound leading to another day of missing work. I never went back.
I was sitting on the couch watching a movie with my husband and felt it. I immediately knew it was not good. It was two months before my second scheduled mammogram and there it was…a lump in my right breast. The next few weeks flew by. A biopsy, breast surgeon appointments and meeting with a plastic surgeon. I was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer. I would have a bilateral mastectomy followed by chemotherapy. My world was flipped upside down. How was I going to tell my 5-year-old son? Would I survive? I had lost my own mother to breast cancer when I was an infant. She was only 36.
After being diagnosed, many thoughts and questions come racing through your head. Could I have prevented this? Did we find it early enough? Will I see my son grow up? For the first time in a long time, my health was in the driver seat. I was willing to do anything to have another day with my family. After my surgery, we discovered I had lymph node involvement and would need radiation.
I began to look for more information about Breast Cancer and educate myself. I was blessed to find a Sharsheret table at a Breast Cancer event I attended. I was treated with so much kindness and offered services to help me and my family. I was able to receive a Thriving Again Survivorship kit for myself and a Busy Box for my son. I was contacted by a Sharsheret social worker. We spoke on the phone, emailed and she introduced me to the Peer Support program. It was monumental to have someone in my corner with the resources and knowledge to help. I have taken multiple virtual webinars hosted by Sharsheret. I am beyond grateful for the information, support, and education Sharsheret provides. I thank Sharsheret for the continued support and keeping me whole through this challenging time in my life.