Grace Diagnosed at 29

"Cancer or not, I was still a single mother of three girls. There's no way I could let them see me be sickly and die."

It was November 2017. I was lying on the couch one day just rubbin’ my boobs when I felt something. It felt like a pea-sized marble in my left breast. I’ve rubbed my boobs plenty of times but never felt anything like this. I immediately knew something wasn’t right. My first thought was maybe it’s a clogged milk duct or something (I’ve always had trouble breastfeeding on the left). So I brushed it off thinking if I massage it it will go away. It didn’t. Cancer was fresh in my mind because exactly one year before my mom was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer.

I made an appointment with my doctor, and she referred me for a biopsy. At this point I hadn’t told anyone about the lump I found. So I went for the biopsy, alone. I waited for what felt like hours. Finally, they took me to a cozy little office, decorated in my favorite shade of purple. I’ve seen so many doctors since my first visit, I can’t even remember if it was a male or female doctor who broke the news to me. Once I heard the word “cancer” nothing else mattered. I didn’t hear anything after that.

The only thing I knew was I HAD to make it. I couldn’t let cancer take me from my babies. Luckily, my habit of playing with my own boobs saved my life. I was barely at stage 1. My medical team was great. We started a very aggressive treatment in February of 2018. I did 20 rounds of chemo and 20 rounds of radiation.

This may sound crazy, but cancer was MY blessing. It taught me so much about who I am. On the inside, without my beautiful long hair, perfectly manicured eyebrows and long eyelashes. It opened my eyes to the vanity I was once consumed in. Cancer taught me to be stronger than I ever had to be before. Cancer or not, I was still a single mother of three girls. There’s no way I could let them see me be sickly and die.

Cancer taught me that I’m not a quitter. Cancer taught me to appreciate everything and everyone in my life. I no longer take anything for granted. I’m blessed everyday, no matter how dim things seem. I needed a wake up call and cancer was it.

Are you a survivor, spouse, friend, or caretaker with a story to tell? We'd love to hear from you.

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