The Anchor has meant many things to me throughout various points in my life.  In college, I joined a sorority and our symbol was the Anchor. The Anchor was adopted by Delta Gamma in 1877 and stands for the age-old symbol of HOPE.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 36. I focused my energy on spreading HOPE and remaining positive throughout my cancer journey by starting a blog called Anchored In Hope.  Writing posts on my blog was a way for me to express myself and communicate to my support system. I was very fortunate to have such a strong support system that showered me with love and friendship throughout my treatment, and I wanted to be able to give that to others!

Cancer is disease that nobody wants to experience in their lifetime.  Everybody knows somebody that has been affected by cancer.  When YOU are the person diagnosed with cancer your outlook on life changes FOREVER.

I received my baseline mammogram and cancer diagnosis shortly after my close friend and college roommate was diagnosed with breast cancer at the same age.  On Groundhog Day, February 2, 2017, my obstetrician-gynecologist told me the three words that you never want to hear “You have cancer.”  My husband and I just sat there in dismay.  I began to cry but not because I had just been diagnosed with breast cancer.

I cried because I wanted to be a mom so badly.  My husband and I were trying to start a family and had been so far unsuccessful. Earlier, I had two miscarriages and found out that I had endometriosis. And now I knew that cancer treatments could result in infertility.

Telling my mom that I was diagnosed with breast cancer was one of the hardest things that I have ever had to do.  She went to multiple appointments with me for further testing when I was told that my mammogram was abnormal, so when I told her I had breast cancer, she was not totally caught off guard.  There is not a handbook created that tells you how to handle your cancer diagnosis or how to tell people.  You must do what you feel comfortable with.

My dog, Maverick, could sense that something was wrong with me.  It amazes me how intuitive he is.  My husband took this picture the day I received my breast cancer diagnosis.

cancer-survivor-story

I went to many doctors and received many opinions regarding my treatment plan.  I believed that the more information I received would help me choose the best treatment plan for me.  Treatment plans are not “one size fits all”.  My friend’s treatment plan was different than mine, even though we were going to the same facility to receive treatment.  We leaned on each other throughout our treatments which made our friendship stronger.

Navigating life after cancer has honestly been the toughest part of my journey.  Your calendar is no longer booked with various doctor’s appointments and treatment is not your main priority.  I enjoy having more free time, but it isn’t the same as it was before. I attend follow-up appointments and take medication to prevent cancer from reoccurring.  I am a totally different person than I was before my cancer diagnosis.  I have a different outlook on life and know how precious life is.  My HOPE is to remain cancer-free and to be a mom someday…

 

Anchored in HOPE,

Jen