1. How did you first find out you had cancer?
During an OB visit. My doctor felt the lump in my right breast.
2. How did you react when you heard the news?
Shock. Denial. I don’t have a history of cancer in my family. I was young, in my 30s, and just had my 3rd baby a year ago. The last thing I thought about was breast cancer.
3. What course of treatment were you prescribed?
Mastectomy, followed by chemotherapy, then radiation. I was also prescribed tamoxifen.
4. What most surprised you about your treatment?
A year and a half later I developed cancer in my other breast. My oncologist believes the tamoxifen “jump started” the second cancer.
5. What would your advice be to anyone who’s just received a cancer diagnosis?
BREATHE… take time to educate yourself regarding treatment options. Go for a second, even a third opinion.
6. How long have you been cancer free?
I was diagnosed a third time a couple of years after my 2nd diagnoses. That was in 2008.
7. What lessons did you learn from the experience?
You have to be your own advocate. Do your research. Talk to others that have gone through the experience. Consider joining a support group. Most important, keep a positive attitude and believe you WILL get through this.
8. If you could send one message to all the Good Enough Mothers out there – what would it be?
Love yourself. Enjoy life. Find something that makes you happy and schedule it into your daily schedule.