2008, Aug, at 35 years old I was diagnosed with stage 2-3 breast cancer. In Jan 2006, I told my doctor that I had a lump with nipple discharge, she thought it was nothing. Jan 2007, I told her again and she thought it was nothing. In Aug 2008, the nipple discharge increased and the lump was much larger. I demanded a mamm and after three requests, she finally agreed. That same day, I had a mamm and it was the beginning of a long, scary process. I was in nursing school when I was diagnosed, I finished school, took the RN NCLEX, and then had my surgery. I lost both of my breast, both ovaries, and lymph nodes in the right axilla and arm removed. The chemo was horrible and being bald for a six months was not the greatest (I wore no wig), but I was a live. Ultimately, I looked at my diagnosis as a new start to life. I was able to accept the situation and turn it into something good. I was alive! It was my chance to do all of the things that I had been afraid to in the past. I no longer allowed people to treat me badly; I demanded respect and it felt great. I laughed a lot, I had fun, and forced those around me to stay positive. Finally, my biggest inspirations were God, my husband, three kids, and my cousin. The first eight weeks after the surgery were the hardest and my husband and kids got me through them.Without them, I could not have made it. I am grateful to me alive, I love life everyday. So many people die from cancer and I decided I would live my life fully as a way to honor them.
Keela Gurley
Cleveland, OH