On May 19, 2006, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer at the age of 27. I was told my cancer was DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ) and that it was stage IIB. On June 16, 2006, I went in for an 8 hour surgery to remove my right breast and start the reconstruction process. That day changed how I saw myself for the rest of my life. As time went on and I started to recover the next step in my plan came into action. I began chemotherapy about a month later. Four rounds of A/C and four rounds of Taxol and Herceptin (the Herceptin I would continue for a year after chemo was over) is what the doctor ordered. I lost all of my hair and I had these two huge scars that would stay with me forever. I’m not to sure how I got through that entire summer without giving up. My parents, family and friends were amazing and really helped so that I can continue to live a normal and active life. During chemo, I felt I needed to be out and about and to enjoy life as much as possible. I would throw on my scarf and cover my head and just live my life because God had given me that opportunity. Who was I to not feel blessed and lucky to be alive.
This journey that I began 2 years ago has been an extremely difficult one yet so empowering. I never thought that going through something like this can make you so strong, and it truly has. So many things since my diagnosis have happened so far. I was photographed amongst my fellow New York Cancer Survivors in the Spring of 2007 for the May 28th Edition of New York Magazine. I attended the LiveSTRONG Day event on May 16, 2007 in Washington DC, which was created by The Lance Armstrong Foundation. I appeared on CBS2 for a Susan G. Kome Survivors special in 2007. I volunteer with the Young Survival Coalition and I walked the Avon 2 Day Breast Cancer walk in New York on October 6th and 7th of 2007.
This has been the most amazing experience of my life. I have met so many wonderful people through this process and here I am, two years after my diagnosis and feeling better then I ever did before. I cant wait to see what else the future has in store for me. Most importantly, I want to show young women that there is life after diagnosis and to always know that our strength comes from within. We are all warriors and fighters and CANCER can never take that away from us.