Survivor Stories 2013:
How did you first find out you had cancer?
I went in for my first routine mammogram
How did you react when you heard the news?
I said, “oh shit.” 🙂 Then I went into survival mode. I called my parents, my boyfriend and my sister. Cried for a few minutes and went back to work (it was my first day at a new job)
What course of treatment were you prescribed?
I was given two options: lumpectomy with radiation and 5 years of tamaxofin; or bilateral mastectomy. I chose the mastectomy because I felt that I was so fortunate to have caught the cancer early. If I did a lumpectomy, the chances of being diagnosed again were so great, and I might not get so lucky the second time around.
What most surprised you about your treatment?
Not going into a deep depression and being satisfied with the reconstruction results. I decided to hang on to the phrase, “it could have been worse”.
What would your advice be to anyone who’s just received a cancer diagnosis?
Hold on the the positives of the situation. Think of yourself, but also think of your supporters. Your loved ones just got diagnosed with cancer too, so I feel that it is important to consider how they are feeling and work together to survive.
How long have you been cancer free?
What lessons did you learn from the experience?
To be your own advocate, and educate yourself on what is going on. Know your body, and make decisions that are right for you.
If you could send one message to all the Good Enough Mothers out there – what would it be?
There is always light at the end of the tunnel.. You will be ok.
Loren Battaglia-Beley grew up around breast cancer. Her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer for the first time when she was 40 years old, and again at 42. After 4 of aunts were also diagnosed with breast cancer all in their early/mid 30’s, they soon discovered that they, including Loren, carry the BRCA gene mutation. Loren considers herself very lucky because less than 1 year from starting her screening she was diagnosed with the disease at age 28. In July 2012, she made the toughest decision of her life, to have a bilateral mastectomy. Today. she is very happy to be alive and healthy; and knows that whatever life throws at her, she will persevere.