4 Years and 5 Surgeries Later ...
Breast Cancer Awareness month hits close to home for us here at Lavish. Four years ago, our owner, friend and mentor, fought the battle against Breast Cancer and won out.
So we thought what better way to bring awareness to the cause, than to share her journey with cancer with all of you.
We'd love to hear from you! Share the story of how you or someone you love has been affected by breast cancer!
When were you diagnosed & at what age?
I was diagnosed at 49 years old. It was labor day weekend in 2013. I remember it so vividly, because it was truly the worst time in my life.
What type of cancer where you diagnosed with and at what stage was it found?
I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Invasive Lobular Carcinoma. It was actually missed by 2 previous mammograms because I have dense breasts, which makes it hard to detect in a mammogram. I found the lump myself, and knew I needed a third opinion.
How did you find the strength to go through the treatments. What helped to keep your spirits up?
My mother and sister where my rocks through this difficult time. They were my caregivers, always there and always persisting that we were going to get through this. I remember my mother actually coming into my room, opening the shades in the morning and letting the sun shine in. She refused the let me stay in the constant darkness and I couldn't be more thankful for her unwavering spirit looking back.
What truly kept my spirits up were the shopping trips I made with my mother, in search of prosthetic bras. Needless to say it was a cathartic experience, laughing at the silliness of it all as we stood in the fitting room, utterly clueless.
Do you remember a specific moment when the realization of your diagnosis hit you?
It was really in the moment the technician confirmed my worst fears, discovering the lump in my mammogram. Luckily, an amazing friend of mine was able to get me into MD Anderson within 48 hours to start the process moving forward.
Looking back, would you do anything differently?
Yes. 4 years and 5 surgeries later, it's a no-brainer that I would have opted for the double-mastectomy instead of the single. Aside from the symmetry aspect, the possibility of not having to go through the PTSD associated with mammograms would have made a world of difference for me.
How long have you been cancer free?
I have been cancer free now for 4 years. The sparkle of getting to say that truly never wears off.
What message or words of wisdom would you like to share with others?
Your diagnosis is not a death sentence. I know it feels like it is, but it's not. Don't be afraid of anti-depressants to help you navigate the process.
Find out if you have dense breasts. Get to know your boobies. Ask for ultrasounds, because mammograms won't always catch everything.
We only get one body after all, so you might as well take care of it!