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Wednesday Warrior - Jennifer

Wednesday Warrior - Jennifer

Our "Wednesday Warrior" series is back for Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2016!

The women you will read about have battled breast cancer. Each woman is eager to share her story with others in hopes of helping someone else through their journey.

This "Wednesday Warrior" story comes to us from Jennifer of Midlothian, VA. 

"As I was diagnosed with breast cancer last September, just before my 46th birthday, I did what I always did when I need to prepare my head for the upcoming days. I studied the book I was given by my care providers and I Googled information about mastectomies. I am one who reads to educate myself, but knows to get answers from my physicians and not from everything I Google. I discovered many YouTube videos of women who have had mastectomies, knowing each of their stories were different.

One night, I stumbled across a video and a woman showed her 'Must Have' for her surgeries. As soon as I learned about the Brobe, I knew I had to have it. I ordered one within the next couple of days. I used it for the multiple surgeries I had to have. What a lifesaver it has been!

The ease of use with the Velcro and simple buttons and tie strings helped me feel better that I didn’t have to continually ask others for help dressing and undressing. The pockets for my drains were a lifesaver! I wore this everywhere. I even wore it to the doctor’s office and received multiple compliments. I have kept it for 1 more surgery, and then I plan to pass this along to the next person in need of the Brobe!"

What are some essentials you’ve found comforting during treatment?

Letting our friends and family know was crucial to us. They planned and provided meals for our family. They helped with picking up kids, taking them to/from events. My husband’s employees gave me a soft blanket, gloves and socks. Those were so comforting, I had to remind my kids and dog that they were for me, but I really didn’t mind too much.

If you had any piece of advice for a newly diagnosed woman, what would it be? Or what do you wish someone had told you?

Be educated, learn as much as you can, but realize what happens to you is your own story. It’s kinda like all of the stories you received when you were expecting your child. Everyone’s story is different. Even my 3 childbirths were so different from each other.

Also, get involved in a breast cancer support group. I went because I knew I needed to share and learn with others that were going through similar situations. Many family and friends could sympathize, but could not empathize. I felt I was strong, but I knew I needed to surround myself with other survivors.

How or in what do you find motivation on your more difficult days?

My husband and 3 daughters are my motivation. I needed to be strong for them so they knew we could get through all of this. They saw me sick, but not discouraged. I felt they needed this to help them continue to be strong.My husband and I shared a common statement, “Control the controllables.”You can’t control cancer, but you can control your treatment, doctors and if you have chemo, you can control when you will lose your hair. I had a “shave the head” party where all those invited took a moment to say something about me or my family and shaved a piece of my hair off my head. It was wonderful to share that with everyone. My family was able to take control, again.I am sending a few pictures. I’ll let you choose what you you would like to use. I will send your information to our support group leader so she can share.

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