2019 Calendar Models: Mona

May 14, 2019

48, diagnosed at 42
No family history
No known genetic mutation
Mona, an assistant supervisor, felt a lump in her breast three months after her annual mammogram. After having a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound, she was advised to wait six months, that it was likely a cyst. Her vigilant doctor wouldn’t wait that long, and further testing eventually revealed stage 2 breast cancer. Insurance issues caused additional delays, and eight months after finding the lump, Mona underwent chemotherapy and a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. She relates to her character, Maleficent, a villain and hero whose bitter heart is healed by love. Mona says, “The darkness that overshadowed my life during treatment faded thanks to the constant love, support, and encouragement from family and friends who gave me the strength I needed to change my grief to hope.” She loves the expression, “Don’t look back, you’re not going that way,” adding, “I can’t do anything about yesterday, but I can make the most of today and ask God to bless me with another tomorrow.” Before her diagnosis she saw cancer as a death sentence. Now she sees it as a second chance to fill her tomorrows with the joy she experiences from time spent with her husband, daughter, and grandchildren and travel to new places, especially on cruises ships.

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