Dawn had been getting routine mammograms every October, but in 2013 she was delayed in getting her yearly mammogram until December. She hadn’t felt any lumps but was told by her doctor that a compressed mammogram would be necessary followed by double biopsies and an MRI.
Dawn was diagnosed with Stage 0 breast cancer at age 44, and although it was aggressive, doctors found it at an optimal time. In fact, the cancer wouldn’t have been found had she gotten her mammogram done in October.
She was shocked at her diagnosis but tried to get to a positive mindset. “One of my favorite sayings is ‘this too shall pass.’ I just tried to go into a positive mode and things will be okay.”
Dawn opted to get a double mastectomy and didn’t have to undergo chemotherapy or radiation treatment. “I’m fortunate enough which almost makes me feel guilty that I didn’t have to do those things.”
Dawn was introduced to MyLifeLine.org through a mutual friend of a MyLifeLine.org staff member. She used the site to update the multitude of people wanting to know how she was doing.
“I didn’t have the energy or patience to call. MyLifeLine.org was a wonderful thing for people to write their support to me and as well as me to get it out,” Dawn reflected.
Dawn has some advice for others going through cancer. “Take the support that you need even when you’re a person who doesn’t like to do that. It’s okay to cry and it’s okay to be mad, but don’t ever sit in the corner too long.”
“It’s okay to say ‘I’m in pain,’ it’s okay to say ‘I’m afraid.’ We are human. We are weak. We are breakable. I don’t think people accept that,” Dawn said.
She finished her reconstruction and is now cancer-free. Dawn reflected, “I just feel despite everything I’ve gone through, I’ve been blessed and I’ve seen a lot of the world and I’ve had a good life. I continue to try to take every day as it comes and be blessed that I am here.”