If I knew then what I know now, I would never have waited so long to connect with the BCRC…
Being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003 shocked me and my husband as cancer was in neither of our families. But, we were on the same page – “We got this”. We had good health insurance and we had family and friends rallying around us. Seeking help was not something we knew how to do. We were always the ones offering aide to others.
I was tired and didn’t have much energy, but with my husband by my side taking up the slack, I managed to work full time as the Director of Accounting at a school district while going through chemo. I finished treatments in 2004 and life resumed.
Fast forward to 2010. After months of living with pain, I finally went to the doctor. This time things were much more drastic, my breast cancer had metastasized to my bones, most significantly in my left hip. I was in a lot of pain and was even in a wheelchair for a short time before graduating to a walker and then a cane. Still, we thought our friends and family were enough.
It wasn’t until my husband was diagnosed with cancer and one of BCRC’s Navigators reached out to me, that I found the support I didn’t realize I had needed all along – real support in whatever way I needed it. It took me a while to be comfortable with my Navigator, so at first she called just to see how I was doing. Then we would meet for coffee and she would come sit with me while my husband was in the infusion chair getting chemo. She understood because she too had been diagnosed with breast cancer, AND was trained to help us “navigate” the unfamiliar road we had found ourselves traveling on.
Sadly my husband passed away, but thankfully, that’s when I discovered the BCRC IV League – a support circle for women with metastatic breast cancer. They understand the unique challenges, the “crazy thoughts”, and understand exactly what I’m going through and what I need. Through this amazing group I’ve found a way to live life, meeting some of the most wonderful women along the way, with whom I’ve become good friends.
So this is why I stepped fully out of my comfort zone to model in Art Bra® Austin this year! I want to raise funds to support the BCRC because I believe anyone diagnosed with breast cancer deserves the same opportunities I have had – to get the support you need, to find a group who understands you and your trials, and can celebrate the victories that come, even after hearing the words “you have metastatic breast cancer.”
On behalf of all of us living fuller lives with the support of the BCRC….we sincerely thank you,