41, diagnosed at 37, no family history, no know genetic mutation
RISE. 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. Nicole's word is RISE. Here is her story.
Nicole, a self-employed mother of two, dreamed one night that she had a lump in her breast, and the next morning in the shower, there it was! Thinking it was just another cyst, she massaged it. When it was still there a few months later, she made an appointment with the doctor. Her gut told her this wasn’t a blocked milk duct as her nurse practitioner suspected. A mammogram and ultrasound revealed stage 3, triple negative breast cancer. Treatment consisted of chemo, a partial mastectomy with reconstruction, and radiation. Cancer taught Nicole that she can handle anything life throws at her, and that every day is a gift. She cherishes her time with her family more than ever now. She had volunteered with Here for the Girls before her diagnosis, so she knew just where to turn for the social and emotional support she needed from other survivors. “Those ladies helped me see that there would be life after treatment,” she says. Her experiences made the word rise resonate with her. It is part of the saying she used as a mantra during treatment: still I rise. “No matter what was thrown at me, I am still standing, and I will still rise up.”
MORE TO ADD: "Support from Here for the Girls has helped me connect with other survivors and build a sisterhood with other survivors who truly understand emotionally how I feel. Some have become life-long friends that I will always cherish. They have shown me there is a life after cancer and to enjoy life to its fullest, embracing every day."