Member Stories: Meet Christina

January 1, 2023

Ms. January's story is lovingly sponsored by Paul and Rosemary Trible

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. January 2023.

Ms. January 2023 | Diagnosed at 44 (2019)

I am a North Carolina native, married to a retired Marine, mother, grandmother, minister/speaker, and Qualified Mental Health Professional. On 12/6/2019, I added breast cancer survivor to the list of titles. My diagnosis was DCIS, Stage 0, ER/PR+, Grade 3. On 1/6/2020, I received a double mastectomy and became cancer-free! So, the choosing of January as a Calendar Ambassador was significant to the new life I began. After attempting reconstruction, I contended with severe breast implant illness and capsular contracture, which led me to have the expanders taken out and remain flat. I thought that receiving reconstruction would provide some form of normalcy, but I realized that the normal I once knew was gone. However, I have accepted that breast cancer took a lot but gave me even more. I obtained a greater understanding of my resilience, new confidence, and a new family with Here for the Girls. I feel this is another chapter in my life to bring awareness, support, and love to other women. Breast cancer has been a chapter that I wanted to skip, but instead of asking “why me,” I asked God, “what do you want me to do with this.” A plan was developed from that moment of prayer, and I fought! I would like everyone to know that breast cancer does not define YOU, and this is YOUR journey! My suggestion is try and create a positive narrative and develop strategies to cope. I leave you with plenty of love and tips that may help: ask plenty of questions, focus on whatever you believe provides peace (nature, religion, meditation, the universe, etc.), allow yourself grace, be vulnerable with your caregivers (let them take care of you), exercise once released to do so, embrace a tribe/support system, allow yourself to feel each emotion, breath, and TAKE ONE SECOND AT A TIME.

ADVICE: You are loved, supported, and cared for with H4TG!

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