Survivor Story: Theresa
“A week after my diagnosis, I felt compelled to write, so I started a blog and a new Instagram page…This will be something I can look back on to remember this time in my life.”
This past April, a day I will never forget, I was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer. I am currently undergoing 16 rounds of chemotherapy and have finished 4 treatments of Adriamycin and Cytoxan. Once I have completed chemotherapy I will then have a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. I think that hardest part about finding out I had breast cancer was the shock factor that I was only 31. My mom had breast caner but she was 55 when she was diagnosed. That was also hard to tell my mom because I knew she would feel responsible for passing the cancer to me.
My diagnosis brought up many negative repressed emotions for her. At first she had a hard time coping with my diagnosis, therefore making it difficult for me to cope because I needed my mom. After a week, she was able to work through her negativity and since then she has only shed positive vibes onto me. My husband, friends, family, and coworkers have been such a huge support system for me. I also had some unexpected support that came from a Peloton Facebook group I am a part of. I had met a girl in the group who was diagnosed with breast cancer a few weeks after me. She took a chance on a complete stranger to share her story with and I felt so honored to be able to support her. Hearing her story and being a shoulder for her I was fulfilling something in myself I did not know I was missing…empowerment. Empowerment over my cancer and determination to overcome my diagnosis.
A week after my diagnosis, I felt compelled to write, so I started a blog and a new Instagram page. The blog is quirky and I named it Quarntini and Chemo. This will be something I can look back on to remember this time in my life. I am using social media as a platform to spread breast cancer awareness to all and in return allowing myself to cope. I continue to ride my Peloton bike throughout chemotherapy, and every cycle gets me closer to my goal of 200 rides!
Before my diagnosis, my biggest concern was contracting COVID-19 at my job. I’m a Nurse Anesthetist and was responsible for placing breathing tubes into the diagnosed COVID-19 patients. While I’m thankful for the time to stay home and find productive and healthy hobbies to keep me busy, I miss my work family every day. But the key to staying positive is that I only shed positive vibes and surround myself with positivity. I know it can be difficult at times but the healing power of positivity is real. Straighten your crown, keep your head held high, you will get through this journey and come out stronger on the other side.
My best advice is stay active in your mind, body, and soul. Keep your mind active with with a good book or start a blog! Keep your body active with a walk around the block or a 10 minute ab exercise. Keep your soul active by allowing it time to heal. It’s easy to fall into the habit of binging Netflix for hours or Googling cancer on the web. As much as I love a good Netflix binge or a cancer wormhole, it is not healthy to do daily. Balance is key to success throughout your treatment. You did not choose this journey, it chose you.
Are you a survivor, loved one, or support system? We’d love to share your story to inspire others across the US.
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