When we began work to rebranding our website, one of the most important things to us was to feature real women as our models. Women who have curves and different body types but most importantly, women who have walked through the journey of breast cancer recovery. We love having these authentic, real women as our models and we are so grateful for their willingness to share their stories. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month we are recognizing these special women and their inspirational journeys. To start, we'd like to introduce Heidi:
My name is Heidi, and 2 years ago I was diagnosed with Stage 1C, ER+, PR+, HER2+, invasive ductal carcinoma at the age of 49. I had always been active my whole life, involved in sports all through high school, and into adulthood. I had just recently returned from a cycling tour in California, riding up to 50 miles a day, and had started training for the Austin half marathon.
I went in for my routine mammogram screening and was told that I had a suspicious area and needed an ultrasound. The ultrasound lead to a needle biopsy and confirmed the diagnosis of two distinct tumors. I was given the option of chemo plus radiation if I had a lumpectomy, or chemo with the mastectomy. I opted for the mastectomy and thankfully made the right choice because the pathology of the removed breast was told that they found over 10 cm of DCIS - ductal carcinoma in-situ. My oncologist told me that he was going to hit me pretty hard, given my age. I ended up in the hospital several times throughout chemo due to my white count being completely wiped out. But, I'm so thankful to be here today to live to tell my story.
I'm so thankful for so many people, including the surgeons at M.D. Anderson, my oncologist at Texas oncology, but most importantly, my children, my parents, two brothers and two sisters-in-law. Rita was one of those sister-in-laws, who brought me the Brobe and shower belt after my surgery. Everyone in the hospital wanted to know how they could get their hands on one of these fancy shower belts. All I knew was that I was so thankful to be able to shower and not try to juggle two drains all while feeling lightheaded. After getting out of the shower, you don't even have enough energy to step through the holes and a pair of panties which is where the Brobe is awesome!
I don't think there's a day that goes by that I don't think about cancer. But I really do consider myself to be so blessed and so fortunate.