Hello, I'm Nicole Octavia I was diagnosed in 2010, which makes me a 13 year survivor. I was diagnosed with stage 2, DCIS breast cancer at the age of (----). Out of the blue, no family history of breast cancer. Nothing dramatic, maybe a little stress but nothing stood out as contributing factor to me having breast cancer. Initially, when the fear set in it was then I had to remember that God was still in control. I had to remember my faith.
Although, I was at first on an emotional rollercoaster because it seems like everything happened so fast. I was married with three adult children and working full time. Doing my thing, working, (singing/performing), in my spare time. Breast Cancer was not in the plan. I found the support group early on and it jelled well because there is a lot that you do know going in. Thank God my cancer was caught early, so I didn’t have to do chemo. I had a lumpectomy and radiation. I believe that the most powerful things are the things you tell yourself about your outcome (the first battle is in the mind). At least it was for me. I had to have faith that everything was going to turnout fine. Remember, it’s the journey not a destination and it is different for everyone. Your mortality is in your face when you hear that you have breast cancer or any cancer for that matter. This is when it got real, and the challenge is in getting beyond that part.
I followed my doctor’s advice for the most part and the support group (My Sister My Friend), was very helpful because they could relate. It’s a safe place to share and be heard. They also brought in doctors, other organizations, presenters, and resources sometimes these things are lacking in our communities, and it is not only necessary but empowering to gather information and get connected to what you need. Being a member of the group helped me cope with knowing that I was not alone. It took the fear out.
I encountered other women there that looked like me, with several years of survivorship which was encouraging as well. I have learned to take it a day at a time and to trust the process. The total experience has help me grow in a way that I appreciate and enjoy life more and to the fullest. Because nothing is promised.