I barely had time to process it before my team of doctors sprung into action. My diagnosis of Stage IIB Invasive Breast Cancer brought me back to GBMC, where a team of physicians and nurses sat down with me and my family and explained my case in detail. I was amazed at how quick and thorough they were.
First, I was scheduled for a lumpectomy and lymph node dissection to remove the aggressive tumor, followed by fertility egg retrieval and preservation. Then, I faced 18 weeks of chemotherapy and eight weeks of radiation. It was a lot to go through, but I knew if I was going to fight this disease, I would need a positive attitude. I said to myself, “I’m a competitor and a fighter at heart. That’s something cancer can’t take away from me.”
"It will not kill my good spirits, my hope, and it will certainly not take away my smile."The caring team at GBMC helped me through my battle. The staff, doctors and nurses became a second family. They knew all about my treatments, offering expert advice on diet, exercise and managing chemo side effects so that the odds were stacked more in my favor. Just as importantly to me, they also took time to get to know me as a person. To say that this experience has been life-changing is an understatement. It changed my perspective, attitude and gave me a greater appreciation for life. And, as a result of an essay I wrote to chronicle my journey, I was chosen as a spokesperson for Under Armour’s Power in Pink Campaign this past fall. The campaign celebrates women who use fitness and exercise in the fight against breast cancer. I have always been active, but exercise took on a new purpose during and after cancer, fueling me physically and emotionally. Because of the campaign, I’ve been able to tell my story and meet inspiring people around the country. Not only that, they’ve given me $5,000 to donate to a breast cancer charity of my choice, and I plan to donate this money to the Sandra & Malcolm Berman Comprehensive Breast Care Center at GBMC. Because of their wonderful treatment, I’m now 27 years old and living cancer-free!