I am the youngest of 9 children and grew up in New Jersey. I moved to Ohio 25 years ago. I was first diagnosed with Systemic Lupus at the age of 27. Thankfully, I have been in remission for the past 17 years. Then, at the age of 53, I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. At that time, I was recently divorced with two teenage sons, trying to wrap my mind around the diagnosis and what needed to be done to keep living. My Lupus contributed in making my first couple of treatments not go well and it was decided I should have my surgery first (double mastectomy) and continue with my treatments thereafter. After surgery, my treatments went much smoother and I was even able to continue working throughout that year.
My champions include my entire family (even from afar), my sons who persevered and prayed with me, and my best friend, Margo, who is an inspiration to me. Being a cancer survivor herself, she encourages me and is always supportive. She is one of the first people I met when I moved to Ohio. She and her family “adopted” me since my own family was so far away. Also, my friend Earl has been my rock throughout this battle. He was with me at every treatment and has been there physically and emotionally. He ALWAYS reminds me that “Trouble don’t last always –this too shall pass."
To learn more about how you can get involved and make a difference for cancer survivors in our community, please visit the Timken Family Cancer Center's page.