Top 5 Stories of Hope For Valentine’s Day

My Sister Was Watching Over Me

When I was 10 years old, my mom found a lump in her breast. She delayed calling the doctor for a year out of fear. I wonder if she would have survived had she went to the doctor sooner.

Two years later, my aunt (mother’s sister) died of breast cancer. She also delayed going to the doctor after finding a lump.

After I grew up, my younger sister found lumps in both her breasts and called her doctor. He said she was too young for breast cancer. She was 35. She listened to her doctor. Five years later, she was diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer. She battled cancer for seven years before dying of leukemia, which was caused by one of her chemo drugs.

Four months after my sister died, I discovered a lump in my breast while doing a self-exam. I had a mammogram not too long ago and everything was normal, so I tried to convince myself that “it” was nothing. But I called my doctor IMMEDIATELY. He did a biopsy. I will never forget the day he gave me the terrifying news that I had breast cancer – stage 1. I couldn’t breathe. My head started spinning, I felt nauseous and couldn’t stop crying. I thought about my little boy and how he needed me.

I pressured the medical staff to schedule my surgery ASAP. I had bilateral mastectomies with reconstructive surgery, followed by chemotherapy. My first round of chemo was awful – I vomited and dry heaved for a week. My husband was there for me every step of the way. I also knew that my sister was watching over me from heaven. I could feel her arms around me, giving me strength and courage. I have been cancer free for 10 years now.

I hope to be cancer free for another 10 years, then another 10 years after that, and another 1,… I try to live life one step at a time. Life is wonderful, even with a cancer diagnosis. God bless all the women who have posted their story on this site.

Submitted by:
Lori Zarzecki
Rockford, Michigan

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