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Survivor Story: Deborah Huber
At my annual exam shortly after turning 35, my doctor suggested I have a baseline mammogram. At my exam at 40, he suggested I begin to have annual mammograms. That mammogram at 40 led to my breast cancer “triple negative” diagnosis. Early detection is the key!
I’ll admit the time I consider “when I was sick” was hard – physically and mentally. My life revolved around doctor appointments, surgeries (2 lumpectomies without clean margins so mastectomy with reconstruction), and physical limitations. The day my doctor called to say I needed the mastectomy, I thought “I’m not doing this anymore. I’m done”. In reality there could be no quitting.
My first Race for the Cure was 06/04/2005, weeks after that surgery. As I slowly walked, I was surrounded by my family and many emotions. Crossing the finish line was symbolic and I remember not realizing tears were streaming down my face. Participating in the annual race remains a time of reflection. Now when I cross that line, I celebrate the blessings in my life.
That said, nine years later, my life is fuller, happier, and I’m stronger than I have ever been. When faced with a challenge, I remind myself compared to “being sick”, this is easy. The diagnosis forced me to evaluate my priorities, perhaps for the first time ever. Instead of chemotherapy, I chose life style changes (diet, exercise, prayerful mediation). I recognize how short life is so it’s important to live in the moment and find pleasure in all things – sunsets, laughter, family, long walks – as well as the importance of balance.