Survivor Stories: Annette Giacomazzi

How did you first find out you had cancer? 

A girlfriend kept pushing me to get to the doctor because of this “mass” starting to press against the skin of my breast. She saved my life. Phyllodes Tumor (very rare) doesn’t show on a mammogram, only ultrasound. It was bigger than my fist.

How did you react when you heard the news?  

It was the day before my 50th birthday. We pulled the kids out of school (we had never done that) and we went camping.

What course of treatment were you prescribed?

Chemotherapy doesn’t work for the kind of tumor I had. Surgery and radiation had to work and it did.

What most surprised you about your treatment?

How surreal it is. You don’t have time to grieve. That comes later.

What would your advice be to anyone who’s just received a cancer diagnosis?

Maintain routines as much as possible, take care of your physical health, live in your faith, support those you love and seek out only those things that are good and joyful and pure.

How long have you been cancer free?

Three years this month. I customized a shirt that says, “I’m 53 and cancer-free!”

What lessons did you learn from the experience?

Live by your values.

If you could send one message to all the Good Enough Mothers out there – what would it be?

Intentionally eliminate everything that is non-essential and increase what is meaningful.


Annette Giacomazzi, CEO and founder of CastCoverZ!, is a serial entrepreneur with deep sales and marketing experience with Fortune 500 companies. A speaker at various trade events, most recently at the Internet Retailer Conference and Exposition, she is a frequent contributor to national publications and blogs. NY Times best-selling author Stephen Key is featuring her and CCZ! as one of seven entrepreneurs in his new book, One Big Idea for Start-Ups and Entrepreneurs (McGraw-Hill, Nov. 2012). 


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