2018 is turning out to be a big year for our family. We have celebrated graduation, college and grad school milestones, family weddings, safe travel, and meaningful community work. Our daily lives are made better by those with whom we interact - at our jobs, in our neighborhood, and at church.
We have also begun a new journey. I have been diagnosed with breast cancer and began my treatment this month.
As I have learned, and now know firsthand, there are many types of breast cancer. I have ER+/PR+/Her2- breast cancer, staged at 2a because it has moved into a lymph node from the original tumor. Luckily, it has been found early enough that the doctors have told us it is highly treatable. For that, we are most grateful. My treatment plan -- my choice after tests, biopsies, counsel, research, second opinions, and much prayer--is aggressive. I will have 20 weeks of chemotherapy, followed by surgery and radiation. I have a great team of doctors at the Levine Cancer Institute in Charlotte, and, as you know, I am blessed by the most supportive and wonderful family on the planet.
The odds are high that someone in your family has experienced this disease. Many of us have had very close friends who have walked this path. One in eight women is or will be diagnosed with breast cancer. All of us --our sisters, moms, and daughters-- must be vigilant about screenings. Catching this early is so important. Please encourage all the women in your life to stay on top of breast exams and mammograms. I am grateful to my own local hospital radiologist, whose wisdom at my annual mammogram set me on my path to diagnosis.
I want to thank you all for the incredible friendship and love you’ve shared with me and with our family. You cannot possibly know how dear you are to us. Thank you in advance for your prayers during this time. Please extend your prayers to my dear husband, Alston, and to our children. You all know them as amazing human beings- they are now shining as my amazing caregiving team.
I am a fighter, and with God’s help, look forward to walking this journey with determination and courage. Thank you for your love and support.