Hope Among Us for a Better 2021
Nine years ago, I met Mari Guzman when our sons started preschool in the same class. I met Jennifer Dresser five years ago when our daughters started kindergarten together. We have become friends through our children and have many shared experiences, including our diagnoses of breast cancer.
All three of us were diagnosed with the same kind of breast cancer, estrogen and progesterone positive (ER+ PR+), HER2 negative (HER2-) invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC). We were all diagnosed at the same hospital at a young age (between 37 and 42). We are also all daughters of breast cancer survivors.
During my treatment in 2017, I received support from Sharsheret in multiple ways. One way was through the national Peer Support Network. I was matched with a survivor in age, cancer type, and treatments. We talked several times; she was able to really listen and understand what I was going through, while giving helpful advice. I also received a care package from Sharsheret for patients going through treatment, which included lotion, socks, cards, a candle, journal, and more. In addition, both of my children received care packages tailored to their age and gender. These care packages brightened our spirits and gave us hope.
During COVID-19, I met with Jennifer and Mari to provide support and encouragement since they were still going through treatment. We decided to collaborate and document our experiences on paper. We wrote raw, honest accounts of our breast cancer journeys through different lenses of time in survivorship, while echoing a consistent message of hope. We also interviewed our mothers to understand their experiences as breast cancer survivors. In addition, we interviewed our spouses and children for their perspectives on our treatments.
Please consider donating to Sharsheret to help support all that they do. Also, our new book, “Hope Among Us: Stories of Three Young Breast Cancer Survivors,” was released on Amazon on January 1, 2021.