survivor-storyI was diagnosed with Stage 3 Triple Positive Breast Cancer at the age of 31 in April 2018. I had no family history or genetic mutations, so it was a complete shock to me. At the time I was breastfeeding my 7-month-old daughter and thought that the lump I felt was a clogged milk duct. Shortly after feeling the lump, my friend from grade school was diagnosed with breast cancer, so I made an appointment the next day to have my lump checked.

Hearing the words, “You have cancer” left me facing the possibility that this disease could take my life sooner than I was ready. I was terrified that I would not get to raise my daughter, watch her grow up, and share in her life experiences. It was truly a devastating thought.

This whole experience has been such an eye-opening and positive one. Breast cancer was the wakeup call I didn’t know that I needed. What initially felt like a death sentence, started to feel more like a call to action. Life was amazing before my diagnosis. However, the process of rediscovering myself and re-prioritizing my life through this journey has allowed me to reach a depth that I never would have found if I hadn’t had to face my own mortality.

One of the biggest changes I was faced with was my diet and nutrition. I’ve switched to an all organic diet. I juice celery every morning and make myself a daily green juice. I try to have 4-5 servings of fruit a day and 4-5 servings of veggies a day. I’ve decreased my intake of processed foods, meats, and sugars as well. I’ve even started working out 5-6 days a week for 30 minutes. I enjoy yoga, walking, and strength training too! I started meditating and it was really hard to set time aside at first, but now I never miss a day! I look forward to that quiet time to center myself and reconnect.

Aside from changing my diet, I’ve found a lot of comfort and support online. I tapped into some local groups online and found other stories just like mine from women all over! I actually heard about The Breast Cancer Charities of America through a free breast cancer focused app, BC Healthline. The stories I have read and the information they provide has been so helpful.

Breast cancer is a difficult journey, but you have to keep moving forward, even if that’s just an inch. You will be surprised by your own strength, I know I was!

 

For more inspiring stories like Jennifer’s visit our Survivor Stories, or share your own!