It's October, you know what that means...
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and for me, it’s personal.
It’s taken the entire month of October to get up the courage to jot a few words publicly about my personal story with breast cancer. In the summer of 2013 I was diagnosed with stage 1a HER-2 positive breast cancer. Much like you never forget where you were on the morning of Sept 11, I will never forget where I was when I got “the call”. I had just finished a beautiful lunch on the patio at Spoonriver with my mother and auntie, dashing to an inspection at North Star Lofts when I got “the call”. All I can recall hearing was “blah, blah, blah, invasive ductal carcinoma, blah blah blah”. “I don’t have time for this!” I said, “I’m late for an inspection!”
My world changed on a dime.
Thanks to an incredibly supportive team, empathetic clients, colleagues, family and friends, I was able to work throughout the phases of surgery, grueling chemo and radiation. My work that I love so much helped me to keep a routine and stay productive and purposeful. With the support of my husband, three sons, parents, dear friends and talented docs at Virginia Piper, MN Oncology, and Penny George Institute I’m proud to say I’ve finally made it past the critical five year mark.
One out of eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. I had no family history and zero risk factors, but I paid attention to my body and got checked.
Pay attention everyone. Stop, breathe, and pay attention.
I’m so grateful I did. And I’m so grateful for all the people who’ve supported me through this journey. While I’d never wish this on anyone, the lessons I’ve learned and the perspective I’ve gained from this experience have been incredibly valuable and have changed my life forever. Onward!