Kristi sent Monica her story and we wanted to share with all of you to remind you how important your health is and no matter how busy you are ..... do not neglect your yearly breast exam!
My name is Kristi and in Sept. I celebrated my 48th birthday. I am a mother to 2 boys, 17 and 13. I work as a hygienist. I am sharing my story to promote cancer screening as it gives you the best chance at early detection and survival. Breast cancer is the 2nd most common cancer among women.
Here is my story…I pride myself on having a healthy lifestyle. Eating clean became a priority to me over 5 years ago to help with inflammation. I had a flare up from an autoimmune disease that presented itself after my 1st child was born. Overall, I thought of myself as healthy. I felt the best I had felt in years! Like most of us I am a busy mom with active boys. I pushed off mammograms for several years because I felt I was not at risk for cancer. I had that “it won’t happen to me” feeling. Through Facebook and the Allen community, I learned of Monica’s dear friend Brooke and her battle with breast cancer and around the same time I had a patient who survived breast cancer tell me “you owe it to your kids to take care of yourself”, boy did that hit my heart. I went for my first mammogram. At that time they saw a very small area in my left breast. They felt it was scar tissue and used this as my baseline mammogram. I will add here, I wish I would have advocated for myself and had more testing done. Again, I had none of the risk factors so, “not me”. At my next mammogram the area had changed. I was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer. Luckily, I have a subtype of an aggressive breast cancer that was a rare slow growing. Through my journey I have met the most incredible women with amazing stories. Some who had mammograms and got the “all clear”, then 2 months later feel a tender lump while brushing up against their breast drinking coffee in bed, self exams in shower, or nursing their child. Others, like myself are diagnosed through mammograms. Mammograms and self exams are so important in early detection.
I feel very strongly I will beat this cancer because of the stories that prompted me to take action! I had 2 mammograms in my life and cancer was there in both of them. I’ve had angels looking over me and grateful for those who shared their stories. Thank you Monica for giving me this opportunity to share mine!
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