Survivor Stories 2014:
1. How did you first find out you had cancer?
I went for routine mammogram.
2. How did you react when you heard the news?
I was shocked. I had not lost weight, found a lump or felt unhealthy in any way.
3. What course of treatment were you prescribed?
The first time in 2001, I had a lumpectomy and radiation. In 2003 when I was diagnosed for a second time I had a full mastectomy and reconstruction of my left breast.
4. What most surprised you about your treatment?
The mastectomy surgery left me with my own skin covering the breast area. I expected to see an open wound.
5. What would your advice be to anyone who’s just received a cancer diagnosis?
Don’t panic. Educate yourself about your exact cancer, get a second opinion and research treatment centers before rushing into treatment.
6. How long have you been cancer free?
I am cancer free for 11 years now.
7. What lessons did you learn from the experience?
I learned to take life as it comes and not plan way into the future. I learned to appreciate everyday and all the little things, family, travel, dancing, singing, and most of all trying to help others who are now going through this life altering process.
8. If you could send one message to all the Good Enough Mothers out there – what would it be?
Cancer is not a death sentence. It is a challenge that brings strength of character and new beginnings to most of us who are lucky enough to be survivors.
Raleigh resident Julie Grasso suffered through two diagnoses of breast cancer in two years beginning when she was only 51 years old. On October 2nd, she performed in Dancing with the Survivors in Durham, NC, a fundraising gala held in 20 cities nationwide. Dancing with the Survivors features breast cancer survivors paired with professional dancers from Fred Astaire Dance Studios for an evening of music, cocktails, food and ballroom dance. All proceeds benefit The Pink Fund, a national organization that provides individuals in active treatment for breast cancer with up to 90 days of financial assistance to cover non-medical expenses, such as health insurance premiums, housing, transportation and utilities.
Donations for Dancing with the Survivors will be accepted through October 31st, 2014. To donate, click here.