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Spring was coming, but I was devoid of my usual excitement. I had had an ominous feeling for several weeks. I felt something insidious was inside me and I had a pretty strong feeling I knew what it was.

Call it women's intuition. :)

I had, through vigilant self exams, found two MINUTE (.5 cm) tumors in my left breast. After having my first mammogram and a pair of biopsies, I received a phone call March 4, 2011 in which my wonderful radiologist informed me of my tumors' status as malignant.

I wasn't surprised, but still, in that moment everything ceased. I didn't breathe. I had tunnel vision. I'm pretty sure I didn't know my own name.

I was only 33 and a single mom. But cancer didn't seem to care that this wasn't ideal timing.

But the courage, tenacity and resilience fighting cancer I knew that if that was something I ever faced that it would irrevocably change me for the better.

I swear enduring cancer is tantamount to becoming a superhero. ;)

So I went through a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy (a decision my surgeons supported due to my dense, fibrous tissue.)

I endured chemo, Zometa, Zoladex and am six months into a five-year stretch of Tamoxifen.

I remember sobbing as chunks of my long blond hair fell out and stood in shock everytime I'd see myself in the mirror bald and sans nipples.

There is something deeply traumatic about not recognizing yourself. And it's frustrating to struggle to have energy for even basic functions. But all in all treatment wasn't horrible. I didn't even throw up during chemo.

Plus, my hair's growing back and these days I'm rocking a cute pixie cut.

And there's always that superhero status I've achieved....;)

Hollie Hoffmann
Salt Lake City, UT

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