“Make it your own!” ...
Those were the wise words of advice
given to me by my incredible nurse
navigator Pam following my cancer

I didn’t fully comprehend what those
words meant, and nine years later I’m
still gaining understanding and appreciation.
In hindsight, “making it my own”
started before I was even diagnosed.
There I was, a perfectly healthy, super
athletic 30-year-old woman with no family
history. I had what my gynecologist
said was a normal cyst. By the grace of
God, I sought a second opinion and ended
up in the office of breast surgeon Dr.
John Rimmer.

Little did I know this was a decision
that likely saved my life. That “cyst”
was actually a rare and very aggressive
triple negative breast cancer.
With Rimmer at the helm, my all star
medical team of oncologist Dr. Elisabeth
McKeen, plastic surgeon Dr. Spencer
Lee, and radiation oncologist Dr. Anne
Lewis was assembled and ready to take

In the months that followed, I underwent
the whole trifecta of treatment:
chemotherapy, a double mastectomy
with reconstruction, and radiation. Due
to complications from radiation, what
would normally be two routine surgeries
turned into eight — the most extensive
of which occurred three years post
treatment! Sometimes you make it your
own whether you like it or not!

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