At 24 years old, it was a time to be celebrating life, hanging out with friends, working at a "real" job. It was certainly not a time to be diagnosed with breast cancer and have a mastectomy! But that is exactly what happened to me.
Twenty years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy. Back then that was how they treated it. But that was not the worst of it. I dealt with the diagnosis, underwent a mastectomy and reconstruction, and tried to get my life back on track. I believed I was cured. But 13 years later, I discovered another lump. My cancer had recurred and very dramatically. It was now stage IV metastatic breast cancer with metastasis to both lungs!
I was 37 years old—and still way too young for such a diagnosis. However, by being optimistic and proactive, having outstanding support from family and friends, and receiving outstanding treatment from my "family" at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, I was able to get through that little "inconvenience."
I'm now 44 years old (it's been 20 years since the first diagnosis) and things are going great! There is no evidence of cancer, I'm married to a wonderful man, and I still have my wonderful support system of family and friends. I still visit with my "family" at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center for routine checkups. Most importantly, I live life to the fullest because, the way I see it, life is just way too short!
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