As today is the last day of October, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to remind everyone about Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Last week, I received this touching story from Tammy DeRosa, one of our Regional Managers. As a personal supporter of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I thought it fitting to share her story:
“I will never forget the dates, dates play such an important impact on our memory, especially when significant things happen. It was March 23, when I walked into a free mobile clinic and told the nurse that I thought something looked different with my left breast. She took one look at me and told me, I needed to go to the MSTI Clinic and get a biopsy. Before, I could do this I had to establish a primary doctor. I did that immediately, on April 4, I went in for an exam and my doctor immediately sent me to the MSTI clinic for the biopsy. I had two types of mammograms and then they did the biopsy. The sound of the machine, pulling tissue out of my breast, made my heart race. I was a bit frightened. On April 8, I was training a manager, when I received the call from my doctor. Over the phone, he told me “You have Cancer.” I think I was in shock, I politely thanked him and went back to training the manager.
Telling my family was the hardest part of my cancer journey, seeing the looks on their faces, hearing the worry in their voices, seeing my children crying. The second hardest part for me, was the drain tubes they put in after surgery. They were uncomfortable, I also didn’t realize how much we use chest muscles. Lifting a glass of water and turning the blinds was a huge chore until I could rebuild muscle.
I knew that no matter what, staying positive and having faith in God’s healing was my best chance at beating cancer. The support of my family, friends, and community was a huge factor in my success story. On May 12, 2014, I had a double mastectomy. I was cancer free. I was 42 years old, the youngest woman in my family to get cancer. I signed up for any research they wanted to do, this would help my daughters, and one day their daughters, even my son and many others.
My story is told to inform woman and men the importance of early detection. Many times, we put off doing things for ourselves. I really want to enforce how important it is to know your body, listen to what it is telling you and get checked. If I had let it go for too long, it could have been a different story that I am telling today.”
Tammy wanted to be sure to give a “shout out” to Cecilia, the Service Coordinator at Meadowbrook and Pinnacle Park, for the encouragement she needed to present her story and information to the residents of Pinnacle Park.
After her presentation, Tammy met a resident who is a 20 year cancer survivor as well as a resident who’s had many family members pass away due to cancer.
In 2019, Tammy will celebrate the 5th anniversary of surviving her cancer diagnosis! Congratuations and thanks for sharing this valuable information with us.
With gratitude & coffee,