At the age of 43 I felt perfectly healthy following a balanced diet and working out 5 days per week. My husband David and I have been together for 18 years and I am the proud mother of a daughter, Annia (15) and son, Adrian (14) and the stepmom to two amazing daughters, Ashley (26) and Alyssa (22).  In November 2015, I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Invasive Ductal Breast Cancer, ER+/PR+/HER2-. Fear struck immediately when I recently discovered that my paternal grandfather had passed away from breast cancer in 1978 and in 2014, my brother had been diagnosed with a pre-cancerous mass. I spent the holidays going through a variety of tests in preparation for treatment. During this time, I learned that I am BRCA2 positive, which means I carry a genetic mutation that increases the chances of developing certain cancers. Since January 2016,  I have undergone a bilateral mastectomy and lymph node dissection, 4 months of chemotherapy, 30 sessions of daily radiation, and a total hysterectomy with oophorectomy (removal of ovaries). I have recently started taking Letrozole, which blocks the production of estrogen and helps block tumor growth. I will also start an injection called (Denosumab) which is used to prevent problems caused by cancer bone metastases.  Over the past few months, I have experienced optimism, sadness, anger and fear, but most importantly HOPE. I am a new version of myself.  God never abandons us.

“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:6