October 09, 2020 2 min read

Meet Frances

“I was born and raised in southern Illinois. I am the youngest of 3 kids— I have a brother and a sister. I moved to GA in 2007 to start life anew.  I started at Marena in November of 2017 and have loved every minute of it.  I am a Customer Care Agent and thoroughly enjoy helping people find the correct post-surgical garment for them.”

 

Q: Let’s talk about your journey with breast cancer.

A: “I was diagnosed Christmas Eve of 2003. When I lost my mother to breast cancer the year prior, I was told I needed to have a mammogram when I turned 40. I went for my first mamo and was told I had a lump. Turned out I was stage 2A. I had a lumpectomy, 6 months of chemotherapy and then 6 weeks of radiation.

I lost my mother as well as her first cousin to breast cancer.  I lost both grandmothers to cancer.  And now my sister has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer.”

Q: What kind of feelings or emotions did you experience when you were first diagnosed?

A: “Because I had lost my mother to this horrible disease the previous year, I was terrified.  I had gone alone to the biopsy and remember sitting in my vehicle in the parking lot calling my sister and crying my eyes out. I could not be the one to tell my dad because he had lost his soul mate/life partner the previous year. Being a daddy’s girl, I knew it would devastate him. Thankfully, my sister offered to tell him, so I let her. When treatment began, everything moved so quickly I didn’t even have time to think about it, which was a good thing. I didn’t have time to dwell on it.”

Q: Who or what made the most impact in helping to navigate such a difficult experience?

A: “I was living in Indianapolis at the time and did not have any family in the area.  My work manager and I had both lost our mother’s to cancer at the same time, and her sister was diagnosed with breast cancer the same time I was. She was available to speak with me at any time and was very supportive. She definitely helped me keep things in perspective and helped me through the process.”

Q: What message would you like to provide to women reading this today?

A: “I would encourage all women to please get their mammograms on a regular basis! I try to live my life with no regrets and to not stress about things out of my control. Life is short! I have now been cancer free for 16 years so please understand the cancer diagnosis does not mean life is over.”

 

For more information on breast cancer, please visit breastcancer.org.



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