My breast cancer diagnosis turned my world upside down. As I hung up the phone, my physician’s words echoed, “Unfortunately, your biopsy results were positive for breast cancer.” I stood alone in my dining room in a state of paralytic shock. The memory of my mother immediately began to fill my mind, as I realized that I had inherited the same life threatening disease that took her life. Once again, I was reminded, after losing several family members, that cancer does not discriminate.
Soon after her diagnosis,Mary lost her home due to unforeseen circumstances and was unable to work. Homeless, she slept in her car during the week so as not to miss her doctor’s appointments. She showered at a campground with newly amputated breasts, surgical incision sites and drains hanging from her chest.
“There was no time to grieve the loss of my body parts, my relationship, my home, my career, or my life as I once knew it. I was devastated. It was my darkest hour. I felt isolated and alone in a broken body. As I looked in the mirror, the person looking back at me was not who I remembered; the scars across my chest were a constant reminder. My self esteem, body image, and identity were shattered. But, the cancer clock waits for no one.”