D. Long- October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!


Beautiful Dede

October has always been a special month for me. It’s fall,which is my favorite season. I love how the chill starts to come into the air as the leaves start to change. October is also the month of my birthday. A few years ago though, October became even more special to me. In December of 2015, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I always knew October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but I never dreamed it would apply so personally to me.

I found a lump in my breast much earlier in the year. I thought nothing of it at first. I had breast implants, and thought it was the valve to my implant. After about 6 months, I noticed the lump seemed bigger. I was already going to my doctor for some other issues, so I had them check the lump. I was referred out for a mammogram and ultrasound of the breast in October. I was with my mom, and then-boyfriend, now-husband, when I was told the lump was just a fibroid tumor, and nothing to worry about. We were so relieved; however, I decided to go ahead and remove the lump because it bothered me so much. My surgery was in November, right before Thanksgiving. In December, I went into the surgeon’s office for my post-op from surgery. I didn’t bringany family with me because I’d been assured it was nothing to worry about. It was then I was told I did indeed have breast cancer. I was shocked and devastated.
In January of 2016, I started my treatments. I also got engaged to the love of my life. My family was a huge support system for me, and I tried to handle cancer the best I could. No one understands what it’s like, unless they’ve been there, to hear the word CANCER. No matter how strong you try to be, you have breaking moments. Your mind is going so many directions. Thoughts of if you will beat this, or if you will die from this constantly plague your mind. With cancer comes fear. An overwhelming fear that’s hard to shake. Cancer strips away the safety and security you thought you had in life about your family, your kids, the future, and about yourself. As the outside world seems to crumble, the cancer also strips away at your body. As women, we put so much effort into looking our best, and cancer takes with it our self-esteem. We are left with a shell of who and what we once were. Looking in the mirror and seeing a stranger staring back at you. Seeing a sick, frail shell of who you once were each day takes a mental and emotional toll. With ashy, grey skin, sunken eyes, and a bald head, you feel empty and self-conscious. You are weak and tired and hurting,and life as you once knew it is turned inside out, at least for a while. For most women, the battle also takes our breasts, one of the very things that makes us women. The breast, with which we feed our babies. The breasts, which makes us feel sexy and womanly. Cancer feels as if it takes everything from you.
Cancer doesn’t stop life around you. While you feel broken, life still goes on all around you. It’s difficult not to be scared. It’s hard to see the fear in your children’s eyes as they process what is going on with their mother. It was so hard for me to be sick, and tired all the time. I felt like a failure so many times not being able to be up and do the things I used to do with all our kids. Even though I knew they understood, it still felt like cancer was stealing my life little by little each day.
Cancer is a fight, and it takes all of you to fight it. Staying positive and surrounding yourself with a support system of people you love and care about is important. In my battle, my faith in God and my family and friends kept me strong. I was,and am, lucky to have so many people reaching out to help and support me. My wonderful husband and I had our entire wedding donated by strangers who heard my story. I will never have enough words and gratitude for all those who helped make our wedding possible. We were married after my double mastectomy in September of 2016. I was blessed that one of those vendors who donated to our day, was Vitality Med Spa. They were able to make me feel beautiful when I felt my worse. They so generously donated services to my wedding day, and to me personally to restore some the things cancer took from me. They made me feel beautiful again at one of the toughest times in my life. The people at Vitality are amazing. They care about each client’s needs, and take a personal interest in who you are. At Vitality you aren’t just a client, you’re a friend.
Women who have gone through, or are fighting Breast Cancer are a team. I found support through women who were fighting. I found support through social media, and through blogs of other women who had been there or where in the same place I was. In October, women from all over, who have fought, or knew someone who fought, families of women who are going through or have been through breast cancer and stood by their side, rally together to show cancer you can’t take our life, you can’t take our spirit, and you can’t win this fight! October is special to me and to my family. We wear pink proudly, and we support all who fight this deadly disease.
With God’s healing and my amazing doctors, I am proudly remission from Breast Cancer.
I hope this October you will support Breast Cancer, and always remind your female family and friends to feel it on the 1st! Self-exams are so important!

Vitality Med Spa

310 Town Center Ave A-2,

Suwanee, GA 30024

Phone. 678-394-0061