I am a proud Army wife. My husband and I have been married for almost 11 years. In that time, we have had two wonderful children, moved five times, lived in six different houses in four different states, survived one yearlong deployment to Iraq, another 14 month deployment to Iraq, had a wildfire destroy our yard and almost our home, and survived the shooting at Fort Hood in 2009. My husband missed the birth of our first child while he was on his first deployment to Iraq. So we have had our share of difficult times. But our love grew stronger with each day.
In 2010, it seemed that things were starting to calm down for us. My husband had gotten an Army position that would allow him to be home for two years and I had a teaching job at our children’s school. Life was good! Then, in April of 2010, we went to a military ball. That night I found the lump.
The doctors did chest scans, MRIs, and a biopsy on the lump. On September 17, 2010, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 IDC Breast Cancer. I was a healthy and active 32-year-old woman with no family history of cancer. I endured eight rounds of intense chemotherapy, a bilateral mastectomy with five lymph nodes removed, and 33 rounds of radiation. I was blessed to be surrounded by an amazing family and support group of friends, and my incredible soldier husband who taught me all about strength and courage.
I was declared cancer-free on January 31, 2012. I tell people that I learned more about life, love, and beauty from losing my breasts than I ever did by having them. My family is definitely “Army Strong” and I feel so blessed.
Fort Hood, TX