Tina is a 56-year-old breast cancer survivor from Montpelier, Virginia.
Tell us about yourself.
I am married and have two children. The younger child was still a high schooler when I was diagnosed. I had been a stay-at-home mom for 24 years; my plan was to go back to work when the younger child neared high school graduation. My diagnoses nixed that plan.
My interests include cooking, reading, creating multimedia computer slideshows, knitting, and gardening. Oh…and sharing a glass of wine with good friends!
When were you diagnosed?
August 3, 2005
I was seven days short of 51 years old when I was diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer, the most aggressive form of breast cancer, whose survival rate at the time was 40% at 5 years. IBC is also rare; only 1- 5% of all breast cancer is Inflammatory Breast Cancer. And on top of this, I was about to fight something else. It was a good thing I was diagnosed with IBC: in the course of pre-treatment testing it was found that I had idiopathic congestive heart failure! I was subsequently treated for both and am still alive 5 years later!
How has cancer changed your outlook on life?
I am more tolerant, have a better realization that one’s life can change in an instant, and appreciate each day. I have learned that I am stronger than I thought I was.
What words of encouragement would you share with others with cancer?
YOU CAN DO THIS!!! Talk to your health team about anything that concerns you…they want to help you. Take charge of your health; be your own health advocate; understand your treatment; be informed.
Support this non-profit in honor of Tina:
Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation, ibcresearch.org
This organization provided much needed information and support to help me believe that I could survive this rare form of breast cancer. It was extremely helpful to be able to connect with other IBC survivors via their online email discussion board. IBCResearch has created a biobank where IBC survivors may contribute their tissue samples to research. Since IBC is so rare and it is hard to compile data on this specific form of breast cancer, this biobank is very important to the study of Inflammatory Breast Cancer.
Please support those battling breast cancer by donating.