I was diagnosed with Stage 2B Breast Cancer at the age of 33. I underwent 4 months of chemo, 37 radiation treatments, and 6 surgeries, including a hysterectomy and a double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction.
Never in my life did I think I would have to make these types of decisions or have to go through what I went through. I had a great family, a supportive husband and awesome friends. But it’s the strangers that I met along this journey that made the most impact. I started meeting them 7 days after my diagnosis. My head was spinning; I was just told I had cancer and I was scared. The last thing I wanted to do was meet new people and share this horrible news with them. Turns out- it was the best thing I could have done. I met 35 courageous women that night who had been through what I was going to go through. They had lots of encouragement and tips & advice on how to get through chemo, radiation and surgeries. Not medical advice strictly speaking- more the “in-between” stuff that doctors & nurses don’t tell you about and friends & family don’t know. Some of the advice included: cotton scarves work better than silk, when is the right time to shave your head, you should eat popsicles when you get a certain chemo because it will prevent core sores in your mouth, and don’t eat your favorite foods while undergoing chemo- because it will kill your love for them. All these nuggets of info were nowhere to be found – except with my group. And that stumped me- how long have we all been fighting cancer? Why is this information not common knowledge? And what happens to the people who aren’t lucky like me and have a support group this amazing, or don’t want to talk to strangers?
Born out of my frustration and the desire to help the women after me have an easier experience, I created CancerVictory. I wanted CancerVictory to be a place of education, comfort and encouragement; where patients will not feel so alone. And a place for practical useful items to help with the side effects of treatment.
Survivors by the Sea
When I was laying on the bathroom floor dizzy and nauseous and wondering how I was going to get through the day, let alone the next 6 months, I had these women to focus on. If they could do it, so could I. And that is why I will always be grateful to Survivors by the Sea, and why CancerVictory will always donate 10% of the profits every year back to Survivors by the Sea.