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October 8, 2014. Took my kids to school, grabbed a coffee, and called my doctors office about a lump I had found in my right breast. 3 hours later a radiologist told me it was breast cancer and they needed to perform a biopsy to confirm. The tornado of doctors, procedures, and emotions began. December 10, 2014 I underwent a skin sparing double mastectomy. Initial pathology showed the cancer had not spread to my lymph nodes. 5 days later my doctor called to tell me the final report showed 1 node had been invaded. December 21st they went back in and took 9 more. They were clean. I'm currently half done with my chemo regiment and scheduled for reconstruction in May. There is no way to describe the impact of this diagnosis. The pain of surgery, the pain of skin stretching implant fills, the ugliness of chemo. For me, the worst part has been the fear in my children's eyes. As well as the toll it's taken on my friends and family. But, with great difficulty comes great reward. The silver lining in this is that I've slowed down. I've stopped doing so much for my family and I do more with them. My community wrapped me up and I will never doubt I am loved. My faith is strong and I believe God has a plan. I am thankful for the hard lessons learned and blessed to be set free.

Susie Bradbury
Montesano, WA

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