The Surprising Diagnosis
I didn’t fit the risk categories. Twenty-seven years ago, I went in for a mammogram and learned that I had breast cancer. It was a stunning diagnosis. I had no family history, stayed fit, and had healthy eating habits which included lots of fruit and vegetables. And still, I had breast cancer. I was 43, and at the time, I doubted I would ever see 50.
This month, I’m turning 70.
The People Along the Way
Over the years, I’ve undergone many kinds of treatment, some more effective than others. In 2016, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. When I met with Dr. Anne Favret, I knew immediately that we connected. She listens carefully and then takes-charge. She explains that we always have more options, which I find comforting.
Although Dr. Favret is the quarterback, I feel supported by the entire team at VCS—the people who patients see on a more routine basis. It doesn’t matter if it’s the nurse taking me in, the infusion specialist, or the blood technician, everybody is superb. They are friendly, understanding, and empathetic.
My Philosophy on Life
I believe that I’m living proof of the benefits of cancer research. In diagnosis and most certainly in treatment advances, the last 40 years of advancements have been incredible. For many of us, it’s possible to maintain a balance in life and at home, even with metastatic breast cancer. I’m grateful for those who came before me and those who have helped raise money for cancer research. It’s being used well. There is nothing but hope going forward.
Even now in chemo, every time I see Dr. Favret, she reminds me that we continue to have more options. And to be honest, I feel lucky. Here I am, long past the 50th year I never thought I’d see. This has all been gravy for me.
What Makes Me Happy
Fitness is still important to me. I try to walk two miles every day, although the cold weather doesn’t always cooperate. But I’m a firm believer in physical exercise. I also do yoga to help relax my muscles and it’s remarkable how much it’s helped.
I also have an incredible support network of family and friends. A caring husband and two adult sons, my sister and brother, as well as a huge collection of friends who are here for me when I need them.