My story is a bit longer than most. I had been married for about 6 months when I noticed my nipple was inverting. So, in 1997 at the age of 37 while my daughter was only 10, I was diagnosed with stage IIb breast cancer. I had a double mastectomy and chemotherapy. Life went on as “usual”. I worked at Children’s Hospital of Orange County as an RN for 25 years, 16 of them in PICU.
In 2004 I started having referred pain in my neck and shoulder area and I had a PET/CT scan that showed that I had a very large liver mass. Since 2004 I have either been on chemotherapy or hormone blocker therapy to control the growth of the liver tumors. In 2014 my doctors recommended a liver resection. The right dome of my liver was removed, but three months later I had more liver tumors that have not stopped growing since. I am lucky that I don’t have metastasis anywhere else except my liver.
I have been so blessed with a wonderful and supportive marriage, I have seen my daughter grow into a beautiful woman graduating from high school, getting married, graduating college with her Master’s in Early Childhood Education and landing a teaching job. I have also been blessed with 5 grandsons from my husband’s children.
My life has been full; mentoring to others going thru stage IV breast cancer, traveling around the country in our motorhome, and blessed in so many ways not only with family, but with a circle of close friends too. Lots of prayers and my faith in God have kept me going all these years.
Photography and Styling by Stacy Jacob, Makeup by Olga Morales