Kathy: Age 45, diagnosed at 38; no family history, no known genetic mutation
RESILIENT. Our theme for A Calendar to Live By 2021, INSPIRED, shares the word that resonates most with each of our calendar ambassadors and reflects the woman she has become since her cancer journey began. Kathy's word is RESILIENT. Here is her story.
Kathy, a business and life coach, felt a lump in her breast and headed to the doctor. Imaging revealed the lump that the doctor believed was “nothing,” but she scheduled a biopsy, just to be safe. The lump turned out to be stage 2, triple negative breast cancer. Her oncologist wanted her to start with chemo, but Kathy pushed for a lumpectomy first, sensing her body was telling her to get the cancer out. She’s glad she did, as the tumor turned out to be aggressive. Chemo followed, then a double mastectomy. Shortly after her surgery, she continued to face challenges, including a divorce and the death of her mother, leaving her devastated and feeling like she wanted to end her life. Thankfully, she did not. Over time, she worked hard to rebuild a new life and a new outlook. “At the time of these events I felt so broken,” she says, “but I learned that it is in your darkest days that your light shines the brightest.” The word resilient is one she uses often. “Resilient has been my word. It means that no matter what happens, I will be able to get through and come out the other side stronger!”
MORE TO ADD:"I joined Here for the Girls three years after my diagnosis because I still felt isolated in my recovery. No one ever talks about the long-range effects of cancer. The fear of recurrence, the struggle to find yourself after the treatment ends, and the managing of short-term and long-term side effects from chemo. It wasn't until I joined the group that I truly understood that I wasn't alone and I wasn't crazy."