It’s my one-year anniversary of hearing the words “you have invasive ductal carcinoma.” For those of you who don’t know that I’ve been battling breast cancer for the past year, the cat’s out of the bag. I had six rounds of aggressive chemotherapy, of which I had a 100% response; a double mastectomy; five weeks of daily radiation; Herceptin infusions every 3 weeks (which I’m still receiving); and I’m awaiting my second surgery, which happens in December. The fight isn’t over, but the cancer is gone (and so is my long hair).
Right away after my diagnosis, the sewing community rallied together in support. I received notes from strangers who found out on social media, anonymous donations to my Go Fund Me page from “a sister in sewing,” “a fan of Sew it All on PBS,” and more. Eileen Roche, editor of Designs in Machine Embroidery (one of our competitors), posted about it on her blog. My friends at Sulky of America sent me an incredible care package. My colleagues organized a meal train during my chemo weeks so my family wouldn’t have to stress about buying or making food. The outpouring from fellow sewists was amazing. It further proves to me that this is a community where I belong, where I feel like family, and where I want to stay.
I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart and the depths of my soul. You will never know how much your support means to me and I hope to repay it in some way.
I also want to take this opportunity to encourage you all to get a mammogram. I was “too young” for screening and not a candidate for early testing. My twins helped me discover my tumor when they rejected my left breast during feedings. Without them, I’m not sure how far this would have spread. They saved my life. If you feel something is not right, if you are worried or have a suspicion, go get checked. The quicker you find something, the faster you can heal.
Whether or not you know someone with a history of breast cancer, have lost someone to the disease, or are a survivor warrior yourself, here’s a free pink ribbon design to stitch onto whatever you choose. Show your support during this month of Breast Cancer Awareness, and all months that follow.