I know statistics say there is a 1 in 8 chance that women will develop breast cancer, but I never thought it would be me. How could it? I was healthy, young and breast cancer did not run in my family. Well at 33, my world was turned upside down. After, feeling a somewhat ill-shaped mass under my left breast, I made an appointment to see my gynecologist. She felt it, got me in right away for a mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy. All I kept hearing from the doctor's was "I don't think this is malignant, you're so young and it doesn't run in your family." Unfortunately, those two factors did not matter and now I was the 1 in 8 with Stage IIA breast cancer. My husband had just received a job promotion where we had moved out of state and we had a 2 year old daughter. I was terrified. We quickly had to go into 'let's get this fixed' mode. Since I was young and wanted to eliminate the risk of a recurrence, I decided to have a double mastectomy even though the cancer was only in my left breast. It was an extremely trying, emotional time for me but I pushed through it with a positive mindset as best I could, after all, I had to be strong for this little 2 year old daughter who was (and still is) our whole world.
Fast forward 5 years and I was officially cancer free. I celebrated with my friends and family as it was a major milestone for all of us. I lived a cancer free life for for 9 years but in 2017 (at age 42), it came back. Devastating, to say the least. I took such aggressive measures the first time around to avoid a recurrence so how is this even possible or fair? Unfortunately, cancer doesn't care about what's fair. It was back to 'let's tackle this and get it fixed' mode. I was at a different point in my life this time around. I was still a mom but instead of 2 years old, my daughter was 11. At this age she knew and understood exactly what breast cancer was. Emotionally, I couldn't fathom telling her that my cancer came back so my husband told her for me. It still brings tears to my eyes thinking of how she showed her love and support for me in her own way. One day, I walked into her room to see a hand drawn picture hung on her wall that said 'Fight Like A Girl' with the breast cancer ribbon in pink. ❤ At the same time, GOVERRE was thriving. We had just come off of Shark Tank, moved into our new warehouse and working tirelessly. Breast cancer didn't fit into my life. I didn't have time for it but I HAD to make time for it. The next few months involved a lumpectomy surgery and intense radiation treatments.
Today, I feel healthy and never take it for granted. I live with the fear in the back of my mind that it could come back again, but I do not let it consume me. I am eternally grateful to my family and friends who have been so supportive through all of this and like my daughter's sign said, I will continue to 'Fight Like A Girl' everyday of my life.
Each October we donate 50% of the proceeds on hot pink wine glass sales from our website to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation to be a part of helping them do the amazing work that they do to save many women, like me! Shop Pink.
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