Assume Kindness...

Treatment for Stage 2 Triple Negative Breast Cancer was a humbling experience. I was diagnosed 2 years ago at the age of 42. I had recently returned to teaching & was the Mother of 7 and 9 year old sons. There was no history of breast cancer in family. Yearly mammograms did not identify the tumor. I had only missed 2 months of self breast exams, resulting in a 3.5 cm tumor. I count myself lucky, since I had an aggressive form of cancer. Surgery for a bilateral mastectomy, complications of lymphodemia and 5 months of weekly chemo (sparing you all the complications) soon followed. If women only knew that the side effects of treatment far outweigh the minimal inconvenience of a monthly breast exam. When cancer is caught in it's early stage, chemo can be avoided. One of the graces of chemo is that you get to be on the outside, looking in. Observant to life's lessons. During this time I lost a new friend to a 10 year cancer fight. Visiting Joyce on her last day made me realize that the little worries just aren't worth the effort. Surviving cancer isn't about you, it's about the people around you. You have the power to set the tone and teach people how to handle adversity. Assume kindness every day. You just don't know what others are experiencing in their own lives.
Kitty Opatz
Maple Grove, MN