I've Got a Lot of Life to Live

I never in my wildest dreams thought I would have to endure breast cancer in my twenties. I am a non-smoker, exerciser and relatively healthy person, so when I found a small lump on my breast, I thought it may be just a clogged milk duct or something. Since it was time for my annual exam anyway, I made the appointment. My OBGYN actually found a much larger and deeper lump that was more concerning than the little one I found. The next day I was in a sonogram and the following Monday I was getting a biopsy. They found two additional spots to sample and they also took a sample of my lymph nodes. This was the week of Thanksgiving so I knew it would either be a couple days or I wouldn’t hear back for a week so I asked to have it rushed along so I would know before the holiday. That Wednesday 11-23-11, I got the call. She was so sweet and in the nicest way possible said “I wish I had better news for you hun but all the samples came back positive for breast cancer.” I was in shock, I am only 27, I have a 3 year old little girl, 7 year old step son and husband to live for. This is going to change my life, our lives. Two weeks later I got a double radical mastectomy. It was stage 3 they determined. Two weeks after that I was in my first chemo treatment. Two weeks after that I lost my hair. Now I’m just fighting through the chemo and keeping focus on positivity and hope that I can give to others. My family and friends keep me laughing instead of crying. I am fighting like a girl!

Lisa Kates
Springfield, IL

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