I was widowed at 25 and diagnosed with breast cancer at 31. I was single, dating, working full time as an OT, and just enjoying life. I was diagnosed in May 2001 and underwent a mastectomy and reconstruction in August followed by 6 months of chemo.
It had been only 7 years after I lost my first husband, Paul, to a car accident when I found the lump in my breast. I had no significant family history of cancer and thought I was too young.
I lived in denial for a couple of months before going to the doctor to get the lump checked. My first instinct was that it was bad. My first thought when I heard the words "You have cancer" was that I was going to die.
Then shortly after despite the fear I went into survival mode. I did tons of research, educated myself, and got second opinions which I recommend every patient do.
I will never be sure about what caused the cancer but I do know that I endured severe emotional stress when Paul died and I did not eat healthy at all.
After I finished my treatment I began to see a holistic doctor who has followed me to this day. From her I learned a great deal about changing my nutrition as well as working on my mind.
I drink tons of water, try to stay away from processed foods, began juicing, eating greens, and taking some supplements. These were things I never gave a second thought to before cancer. I try not to be too obsessive about it.
I still like to eat things like pizza and ice cream sometimes and I allow myself to do that. Living at extremes is not good for me. But when the fear creeps up it is hard not to do that. I also walk for exercise and practice Qi Gong for what it does to quiet my mind.
It's been more than 8 years since my diagnosis. I am now married again to a wonderful man, Lou, whom I met in March 2002 while going through my chemo treatment.