Ondina McIntosh

Ondina McIntosh

 

Meet Ondina

My name is Ondina Rochelle McIntosh. I am a 35 year old two time breast cancer survivor. I was diagnosed with Invasive ductal carcinoma in January 2015 at the age of 33. I had a strong family history of breast and ovarian cancer but because of my age I was not yet getting mammograms or any other advanced screenings. Like many women the lump in my breast discovered during a routine self-breast exam. Once the ultrasound and biopsy determined that the tumor was benign I decided to have genetic testing done to see if there was a biological cause for my family history. After finding out that I have a genetic mutation in my BRCA-1 gene I opted to have a bilateral mastectomy. Since my oncotype test did not warrant chemotherapy I was put on Tamoxifen. My diagnosis and family history prompted me to become a Komen Ambassador and active volunteer. I am also an active member of the Young Survivor Coalition. Through both organizations I have met some amazing women. This journey has taught me so much about myself. I discovered a strength I didn’t know that I had along with a passion for nursing. I planned on attending nursing school this spring but had to put that in hold due to a recurrence in my right breast which was the original site of the disease that occurred in June 2016. Though there is no real explanation for why the recurrence happened so soon I am optimistic about the advances that have been made in breast cancer research and treatment options. Undergoing chemotherapy, surgery and radiation has given me a greater appreciation for the nurses that care for cancer patients. Even though cancer is a horrible disease I know every day we get closer and closer to finding a cure.

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