My Sister, My Hero

My story began on my birthday, in April of 2007. My sister, who lives 2 hours away called to tell me she had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. We were stunned, unaware of any family history of the disease. My heart ached for her, and I vowed to be there for her in any way I could.
I had a few mammograms over the last several years, but not on a yearly basis. I knew this was my wake up call, that it was time for me to go in. I had my mammogram in early June. They said everything was fine, but the doctors wanted a better look at a "blurry" area so I went in for a second. At this point, I wasn't worried---after all it was just a "redo". After my 2nd mammogram at the Komen office at the Center for Health...they asked me to have a sonogram. At that time, I saw for myself what they were looking at. After all the testing was done, I was diagnosed with stage 1 and stage 0 DCIS cancer. My diagnosis came the day after my sister underwent her lumpectomy.
We couldn't believe that we could both be going through this, especially at the same time. I had a mastectomy in August, and today am going in for reconstructive surgery. We are both doing great, feeling great, and are blessed to have each other.
I don't know what I would have done without having my sister on this journey with me. She has been my strength, my rock, and we have laughed and cried many tears together. For the first time in May, we both participated in the Peoria Race for the Cure. We held each other and cried together during the survivor song. I am blessed in so many ways because of my diagnosis. My sister and I always had a good relationship, but this has made the bond stronger than ever. I am thankful to be here, and to be able to say she is my hero....how many people can say their sister literally saved her life?
When I returned to work, I was thrilled that my employers took me up on a suggestion to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness month. They sponsored several activities and brought awareness to all the women in my company...urging them to get out there and get checked! I've learned to see the good through the bad, to find humor in places I never thought I could, and have found the strength to fight breast cancer. My prayers and best wishes to all of you patents and survivors. GO PINK!

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