I was always the pretty one—the one the girls didn't like because of my looks and my personality. Men were always attracted to me. I had a great job and my life was at its best. I took so much of that for granted.
On June 16, 2004, it all drastically changed. Just 11 days before my 40th birthday, I found a tiny bump, like a pimple or an ingrown hair, under my armpit. I didn't really think anything about it, but two weeks later it had grown to the size of a marble. I called my doctor and went right in.
They were very concerned, and thus my journey began. I had my first of eight rounds of chemo on July 1, 2004. Being the people-pleaser that I am, I worked every day during my treatments and held my own. But boy, was that hard!
I was in such denial until I started losing my hair. At that moment I realized that this was no joke; it really was happening to me. But, I had a goal: I was going to get a "boob job" at the end of all this, even though it would be a lot to go through.
After my mastectomy, two out of nine lymph nodes were positive for cancer, and all of a sudden my looks were no longer important to me. My life was. My husband, who loved and supported me through it all, was most important. I went through 33 rounds of radiation and no boob job.
Don't get me wrong. I was humbled by cancer, but not beaten. I was taught by cancer that the people in your life are most important—not your looks or what you have. I now have about two inches of hair and I love it—big ears showing and all! And I just got it highlighted. I have my life and that makes me complete. Please remember that time waits for no one. Make the best of the time you have. Love completely and give it your all!
This is very hard for me to let my kids see me like this but I always tell them I'm ok even if I am not.