Beth Diagnosed at 33

"I will forever be grateful for the lessons in kindness."

After feeling a lump in my breast while taking a shower, I contacted my doctor. While in the waiting room, I kept thinking I was overreacting by being there. I was only 33 years old, had a loving husband and adorable 3 year old and 11 month old boys. 

Two days before my son's first birthday, I had a double mastectomy to remove my cancer. I had another surgery 4 days later to replace a drain that wasn't working. Soon after, I learned that my cancer had spread to my lymph nodes which would require another surgery to remove them. In a two-week time span, I had undergone three surgeries. When I developed a painful infection after my third surgery, I remember my breast surgeon looking me in the eyes and saying "This is not going to kill you. You have to believe that." 

After the infection healed I began my 16 rounds of chemo followed by two more reconstructive surgeries. I continue to pray for a world where no child has to ask "will I have to have cancer when I grow up?" like my son did. The physical pain of surgeries and chemo is no match for the emotional pain caused by cancer. 

To look at your children and pray that you get to see them grow up. To see the pain and fear in my husband's eyes that I know my cancer caused. To fight off anger at every doctor's appointment because I am too young to be sitting there. All the while holding on to the hope for a bright future. My family was so blessed by people who reached out to us either through Facebook, or calls, texts, sent cards, gifts, meals, and went so above and beyond. The kindness of people was the biggest shock of all. I believe if everyone knew how loved they are, this world would be a different place. 

I will forever be grateful for the lessons in kindness.

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