Secret To HappinessThe Breast Cancer Site
My story begins on January 2, 2012. A routine physical resulted in my doctor finding a fibrous mass in my right breast. I am a 35-year-old single-mom who tries to do everything right; I exercise and eat well. I am a teacher by trade, so I look forward to waking up every morning wondering who I can inspire next.
Boy, am I looking forward to the end of this year! After a mastectomy, four months of chemo, five months of physical therapy, two hospitalizations, and five weeks of radiation, my body is shot. I look in the mirror and don’t recognize myself.
People say my smile hasn’t changed, and I must agree with them. Hair loss, weight gain, and fatigue can bring a girl down! However, I will tell you the secret to happiness.
Surround yourself with love. Love from God. Love from family who will babysit and do your laundry for you. I am grateful for the love from my son, who would get me a straw and a can of ginger ale when nothing else appealed. Love from my sisters at church who prayed for me and wrote me love letters. Love from friends who made me laugh, gave me back rubs, sent me care packages, and listened to me vent. Love from colleagues who brought me cupcakes after my surgery and helped grade papers.
I am not the same person I was a year ago. I am still Hannah, but a stronger version, a more decisive one, and an appreciative one, too. My life will never be the same, but this journey has given me more than I could ever ask for. I will continue to be strong for my son who still loves me despite my bald—or as he calls it—‘bold’ head!
North Haven, CT