October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Thank you Kim Dunn, director of enrollment management for the Office of Admissions & Student Affairs, for sharing your story.
In May 2019, I was sad to miss my first Health Professions Readiness & Enrichment Program (HPREP) in 10 years, but life threw me a bit of a curve ball this year.
In January 2019, I found a tiny lump in my left breast. I wasn’t overly concerned about it, but scheduled a mammogram just to be safe. A couple of days and a biopsy later, I found myself wondering how I could be a “healthy” 48-year old woman, feeling great but with a cancer growing inside of me.
In February, I had a double mastectomy and eight lymph nodes removed. It sounds strange to say, but this was a blessing. After testing, they found that the cancer had traveled to my sentinel node, but all others were clear. Since the cancer was not triple negative and because the other nodes were clear, I did not need radiation or chemo! My therapy is swallowing a tiny pill for 5-10 years and working with PT to gain back my mobility and strength on the left side – I’ll take it!
Everyday life didn’t change much during my cancer journey, at least not from an outside perspective. On the other hand, my life changed significantly from a spiritual standpoint. God gave me a scary reminder that I’m not in control. Life is a precious commodity that can’t be taken for granted, and our time on this earth is fleeting. Encountering a deadly disease is a sobering reminder of this, but for me was a blessing in disguise. It forced me to take a moment to really consider what is important in life. I can’t tell you how much I have grown spiritually in the last 10 months. Each day is a gift, and I try a little harder not to sweat the small stuff. I have never felt as supported as I did and still do through this journey. Relationships with my family, my Campbell family, and my friends are closer and stronger than ever. It’s a little easier to appreciate every day and whatever craziness it brings.
Thank you Campbell family for being so supportive during this journey!