Chandra-survivor-story

Chandra

“I feel extremely lucky…almost to the point of guilty for how much support I have had through this process.”

I was first diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer on August 27th and am still currently going through treatment. Before breast cancer, I would push myself to the limit physically and going through treatment has forced me to understand the importance of getting rest. It’s how the body restores itself and is probably the most important change I’ve made so far.

But the hardest thing about finding out I had breast cancer is that I felt like my entire life would now be about my illness, and because treatment is a process that takes time, I felt like I was about to be in constant survival mode. I feel extremely lucky though…almost to the point of guilty for how much support I have had through this process. My family and my dance fitness class participants have been my saving grace. They make sure I have everything I need and they have done an amazing job of reminding me that I’m not alone on this journey.

Before sharing my diagnosis on social media, I made a decision to protect my spirit by asking people for what I needed. At the end of my announcement, I asked people to try not to cry when they saw me and not to tell me who they lost to cancer. Because while they may be well-meaning, those were triggers for me. I learned very quickly that many people don’t know what to say to someone battling cancer, so I felt like that approach was both helpful for me and for them. But my advice to other breast cancer patients is to surround yourself with positive people who make you smile.

Are you a survivor, loved one, or support system? We’d love to share your story to inspire others across the US.