I was diagnosed at age 46 with aggressive breast cancer. Because of that,
I was started on neo-adjuvant chemotherapy, followed by a bilateral mastectomy
with reconstruction. After a brief time of healing, I was given several
weeks of radiation, followed by another round of chemotherapy. I have
been cancer-free for 20 years, and I am very thankful to Dr. Marilyn Raymond
for helping me through a tough time. After two decades, I am still following
up with her once a year and, so far, I am still cancer-free.
During my treatment, I attended a Breast Cancer Support Group headed by
Gail Cooper-Parks that met at Jupiter Medical Center. Gail was a great
inspiration and very informative, along with the other ladies who attended
the group. We became a very close-knit group, and some of us are friends
to this day. I also gained strength during my journey by journaling, reading
my Bible, and staying strong in my faith. Without my faith, I am not sure
I could have handled the entire ordeal.
I am thankful for my husband and my two girls, who at the time were teenagers.
They stood by me the entire time, taking me to chemotherapy, radiation
therapy, preparing meals and keeping up with the housework. I also worked
as I was going through treatments, except when I was very sick. I am thankful
for my bosses at that time who also encouraged me.
Message to Other Women
I would encourage every woman to have a baseline mammogram by age 40. Also,
know your breasts, do self-exams so you can recognize when something isn’t
right. My breast cancer was found through a mammogram. I also did not
do self-exams. If I had I done then, I think I might have caught my cancer
sooner. Have faith and a positive attitude. It will help you get through anything.
The Inspired Sewist
661 Maplewood Dr # 14
Jupiter, FL 33458