TAMMY'S STORY

"I was diagnosed with breast cancer in August of 2011...

 

My life changed the day my lump was discovered.  I knew it was… CANCER!  Unlike some people, I chose to think about my situation for about 4-5 days before scheduling an appointment.  I am a planner and a thinker. I understood that my life and my children’s life was about to go down a path that nobody wants to take.  I had been getting mammograms for well over 12 years due to a family history of breast cancer.  By the time I was diagnosed, my mother, grandmother, 3 out of 5 aunts and 1 first cousin had this disease.  It was now my turn…

I had an overwhelming amount of support from my family (my boys- Jayden and Kaide, sister- RueAnn, mom- Arleen and cousin- Deanne), many friends (Jan, Heather, Karma and Nicole) and my employer.  But truly, I would have not made it through without the support of my boyfriend, Kevin.  He took this ugly situation and made it as easy as it could be.  He was at my side for every appointment, surgery (double mastectomy, port insert and breast reconstruction) and chemotherapy treatment… and there were many.  Most importantly he gave me a shoulder to cry on.

Cancer has a funny way of showing itself and knocking you down whenever it can.  One month after I was diagnosed, the disease struck again.  This time to another cousin, Kristin.  Approximately two months into my treatment, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer for the third time.  Wow… could things get any worse?!  Well… the answer is sadly, yes.  A month later my sister, RueAnn, had a mammogram and a spot was found.  Keep your head up, right?  I tried, I really tried.

After completing treatment and closing that chapter in my life, I decided to be proactive and do everything in my power to reduce my chances of reoccurrence.  Someone once said to me ‘KNOWLEDGE IS POWER’ and I really feel that is true.  So I underwent DNA testing for the BRCA gene (tested positive), had a full hysterectomy and continue to see my doctor regularly. Whether,  it has been a short time or many years experiencing cancer in any form still causes stress and worry.  The fear of the unknown can keep you up at night.  I try to live each day to the fullest and enjoy my children, family and friends as much as possible.  

It has been over six years now and I am happy to report…I remain cancer free.

Wanting to give back still remains a huge part of my life.  That is what PINK IT FORWARD is about for me.  I want to give to those who need a little pick me up while going through a difficult time and let them know they are not alone.  Reaching out to people and adding that personal touch is what Pink It Forward truly is." 

-Tammy

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