Elaine a volunteer for
the Survivors Helping
I was not worried when the radiologist saw something during my annual mammogram, or even when the biopsy was done – I was sure it was nothing. So you can imagine how I felt when I heard the words “You have breast cancer.” After all, I was 48 years old, in excellent health, and had donated a kidney to my husband just three years ago.
Once I received the diagnosis I immediately made an appointment with the Johns Hopkins Breast Center (the biopsy was done at a community hospital). I could not have asked for better care. My treatment involved a lumpectomy, four rounds of chemotherapy, and 25 radiation treatments. The excellent medical care, combined with the one on one support I received from two breast cancer survivors, helped me through this challenging period of my life.
I tell newly diagnosed women to educate themselves about breast cancer, but not to let it take over their lives. A positive attitude is essential no matter what the diagnosis, and to always have hope.
The most rewarding aspect of volunteering for me is working with the breast cancer survivor volunteer team to raise awareness and help raise funds for research and programs that benefit patients. Together we help others through the breast cancer journey. No one should have to travel that road alone.