Justine from Michigan, 3-year survivor!

My cancer journey started back in my early 20’s. My mom had just been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and knowing we had a rich history of cancer in our family we thought it would be a good idea to have me tested for the BRCA2. Sure enough, I tested positive. Which started the routine check-ups every 6mos. At the time I was so young & naive I didn’t understand the impact this would have.

A few weeks before my 30th birthday, I went in for my very first mammogram. I thought about blowing it off. Thank God my husband pushes the importance of health because it was that mammogram that found DCIS breast cancer. I was mad at myself for almost skipping the appointment!

I choose to do a bilateral mastectomy & reconstruction. I was unable to spare my nipple because the cancer was too close. This was a devastating loss. I wanted to breastfeed my future children. I felt robbed, ugly, deformed.

June 10 ’19 was my mastectomy surgery. I knew I was in good hands, my team was/is incredible. The healing began & it came with pain. Oh, the pain was almost unbearable at times & I was ready to get those awful expanders out! I couldn’t wait for reconstruction surgery. Sept. 16, ’19, finally the day had come to get the expanders swapped for implants. Happy day! I have learned this is a life long journey. I have been cancer-free for just under a year and I couldn’t be more grateful. I’m starting to feel more myself & embracing my scars.

I thank God every day for my life, for my wonderful husband, my family, my doctors, & my friends.

This is life-changing, this is tough but we as women are tougher!