"We women are so strong; let this be your chance to prove to the world and yourself"


“I always knew it would happen, but I didn’t know when. Both my maternal grandmother and my mother fell victim to breast cancer. I had been having annual mammograms since age 31, the year my mother was diagnosed. A few ultrasounds and benign biopsies kept me hopeful, but before Christmas 2002, at age 46, my mammogram revealed two small tumors in the right breast. A needle biopsy confirmed the diagnosis. Oddly enough, I had been helping a close friend deal with her recent breast cancer surgery. We became each other’s support system.

“I truly believe our paths are planned for us. Could this be why, while working at a local hospital, five of my co-workers were battling this disease? I felt I was in the right place at the right time. I was confident that I had the best support system and the best physicians.

“My grandmother and my mother never had reconstruction. My kids used to say, ‘Grandma, you left your boobies on the dresser.’ They would see the little prosthetic breasts on the dresser. When I was told I could have the reconstruction done at the same as my mastectomy, I realized that my kids would not have to go through that again and see that. I didn’t have to live with the disfigurement that my mother and my grandmother had to. I am so pleased with the results. Even after four rounds of chemotherapy, I never felt like a victim.

“I try to live a healthy lifestyle and always keep a positive outlook—a key to living with cancer. My family has been supportive and motivates me to continue to beat this disease. I pray this cycle ends with me so my daughter may be spared. I feel I am an inspiration to my breast cancer patients. They feel more at ease undergoing surgery after hearing my story, knowing that they too can live a long, healthy, and vital life.”