Member Stories: Meet Anne

August 1, 2023

Ms. August's story is lovingly sponsored by Kelly Kiernan

The theme of A Calendar to Live By 2023 is In Her Own Words. All 12 women who grace its pages have honest, inspiring stories written in their own words to share with readers -- as well as words of advice for other young women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. Read on to get to know more about Ms. August 2023.

Ms. August 2023 | Diagnosed at 37 (2020)

I was cognizant of the world of breast cancer from an early age. I grew up hearing the stories of the mythos of my grandma’s life with breast cancer. Grandma Louise lived through her decades-long battle by coping with humor and taking things one day at a time. In the early 2000’s my own mother, Judi, was diagnosed with breast cancer. I remember my mom going through treatment while maintaining a household, a job, and the varied and immense needs of four daughters ages 12-22. Even this close-to-home exposure didn’t prepare me for the series of events leading up to the call I received New Year’s Eve 2020. “You have cancer.” News of a cancer diagnosis is shocking at any stage in life, but it was particularly poignant for me, that last day of 2020 because I was 31 weeks pregnant. There was a whirlwind tour of medical expert consultation. And on February 4, 2021, I delivered a healthy baby boy, and on February 10th I had a successful partial mastectomy. I had one more surgery for axillary node dissection and started
chemotherapy that spring and radiation treatment in the fall of 2021. It was with a small amount of anxiety I donned two new titles that year: Mother and Cancer Patient. Perhaps because they happened at the same time, I can’t ignore that lessons learned in one role fed into the other. Take things one step at a time and know sometimes it’s okay to wear pajamas all day, even if they have mashed banana on the collar. Ultimately, the year was about love. The new experience of love between mother and babe, and the opportunity to see my family and friends with fresh eyes as they rose to my side to support me. One of the mantras I try to teach my now-toddler is “You can do hard things.”

ADVICE: Break time and tasks up into smaller bites. The whole next year might sound scary, but can you do today? Can you get through this afternoon?



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