top of page
  • Writer's pictureSurviving Breast Cancer

Seize the Day

By Stacy


I remember the day I was diagnosed as if it was yesterday.


The Diagnosis

As a middle school teacher, I was down to my last day of my precious summer vacation, and had a long list of last-minute errands I wanted to complete that day before starting a new school year. Going to the doctor was an annoying inconvenience in my already busy day.


My primary care doctor mainly wanted to go over a recent ultrasound that he had asked to have of my right breast after my recent mammogram came back abnormal. My doctor had said he was pretty sure it wasn’t anything to worry about, but since my mammogram did show something slightly suspicious, he wanted me to have the ultrasound scan just to be safe.


At age 46, I have always been extremely healthy.


I ate well, exercised, ...and didn’t give it a second thought. In fact, I had decided to go to the visit alone since I wasn’t the least bit worried. That’s the day (August 11, 2017), that life as I knew it would change…..


During that visit, I found out that I had not one, but three highly suspicious spots in different quadrants of my right breast. I was in shock and just couldn’t believe what my doctor was saying to me. I told him that I would go for the biopsy, but I’m sure it was nothing.


He then said: “Stacy, I’m not going to lie to you, but those spots have a BI-RADS score of a 5, which means that those spots are highly likely to be malignant. You will need to go for a biopsy today to confirm this diagnosis, but brace yourself, and be prepared for many upcoming appointments and major surgery.”


I would not be able to have a lumpectomy like many other women because the spots were in different areas of the breast. I would also need an MRI to see if the cancer had spread.


Advice That I Will Never Forget

He then gave me a valuable piece of advice that I never forgot through the struggle that I was about to endure.


He said: “I know this will be hard, but I want you to try to live your life in a regular way (as best that you can) as you fight this battle. It will be hard, but don’t let it become all-consuming. Keep working every day and doing your thing….meet up with friends, spend time with family, and go on trips, no matter how hard that may seem.”


My Experiences

After my biopsy, it was confirmed that I had invasive ductal carcinoma. All that I could think is, please let me live so that I can see my 2 kids (although they are young adults) graduate college, get married, have kids, and accomplish their dreams.


So, now here I am writing this 15 months later, and life is good! I have had three surgeries this past year. After being put on Tamoxifen, which is suppose to help keep my hormone-positive cancer at bay, I had too many side effects and am now on a different medication called Anastrozole and I’m feeling so much better! I still go to frequent follow-up appointments with my oncologist and plastic surgeon every three months, and I even got a tattoo that says, “Seize the day,” as a personal reminder to live my best life! I know that I am one of the really lucky ones.


When I had my mastectomy, I was told that it was early stage 1, hormone positive cancer, and that it had not spread to my lymph nodes. I also found out that I was BRCA negative. More great news followed from my oncologist that I would not need to have chemotherapy...those words were music to my ears! They say that you are only as strong as those that you surround yourself with, and I truly had an amazing team of doctors, an amazing husband, and a supportive family and friends that were there every step of the way.


Sharing My Story

As I fought breast cancer, I chose to share my story (as uncomfortable and private as it was) with all my friends and family on Facebook. I persuaded them to be proactive about getting those mammograms on a regular basis (especially my teacher friends who tend to overlook self-care because they are too busy!)


I shared with them that I had never had a lump or any type of sign that I had breast cancer, and had I not had that mammogram when I did, the cancer might have spread and I would have needed chemo. Many of my friends sent me private messages telling me that because of me they went and had that dreaded mammogram.


It was that defining moment that I realized that when I felt up to it, I wanted to help others that were going through breast cancer! Sharing my story on social media helped me to not only heal, but may have helped others in the process.


Keep Doing Your Thing

To anyone reading this that is going through breast cancer, just know that it is okay to have days when you feel depressed and worry if you will survive. Allow yourself to have those brief moments, but then brush yourself off, keep doing your thing, and be the fierce survivor that you are.


Then, when you are done fighting the fight, and the sunshine comes through the clouds again, go out there and do something worthwhile with all that you have learned during your journey and help others who are currently fighting breast cancer…. after all, isn’t that really what life is about anyway?



Thank you for sharing your story, Stacy. SBC supports you!


SurvivingBreastCancer.org Resources & Support:

Recent Posts

See All

The Now

留言


Meditation Mondays:

Chakra Chanting with Gloria

Mondays at 10:00 a.m. ET 

RSVP

Thursday Night Thrivers:

All Stages Support Group

Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. ET

RSVP

 

Thursday Night Thrivers:

Metastatic Breast Cancer Support Group

First and third Thursdays

of the month at 7:00 p.m. ET

RSVP

 

Thursday Night Thrivers:

Inflammatory Breast Cancer Support Group

Second Thursday

of the month at 7:00 p.m. ET

RSVP

Tuesday Night Thrivers

Después de un Diagnóstico:

Grupo de Apoyo en Español

2do y Cuarto Martes de cada mes 

7:00 p.m. ET

RSVP​

Encourage and Empower

For Newly Diagnosed

September 10, 11:00 a.m. ET

RSVP

Breast Cancer Book Club

The first Sunday of the month

RSVP

Restorative Yoga:

The secret Garden

April 22,  6:00 p.m. ET

RSVP

Qi Gong

April 23,  11:30 a.m. ET

RSVP

Art Therapy

May 6, 6:00 p.m. ET

RSVP

Forest Bathing

May 7,  6:00 p.m. ET

RSVP

Reflect & Recharge

Expressive Writing

May 13,  6:00 p.m. ET

RSVP

Yoga Fitness with Chair Assist

May 14, 11:30 a.m. ET

RSVP

Yoga Stretching for DIEP flap

May 14,  6:00 p.m. ET

RSVP

Más eventos en español

RSVP

Upcoming Events

1

Surviving Breast Cancer provides breast cancer support, events, and webinars at no cost to you! Whether you are looking to gain more knowledge on a particular topic or meet up with other breast cancer survivors, we have something for everyone. 

2

Our standing appointment on Thursdays is for all stages. We also host specific breakout groups once a month for specific stages and subtypes such as Metastatic breast cancer, and Inflammatory Breast Cancer, etc. 

3

The Book Club meets the first Sunday of every month at 11 am ET. You are welcome to join each month or pick and choose your month based on your availability and the book we are reading. 

4

Through art, writing, and other creative modalities, we hold the power to manage our stress, make sense of our now, and relax into moments of stillness. 

5

Free, monthly, online classes in restorative yoga, yoga for breast cancer, and Zumba. 

6

Después de un Diagnóstico