Market America has joined the cause of breast cancer awareness by teaming up with Earlier.org, a company whose mission is to promote earlier detection of breast cancer for increased odds of survival. Through the hashtag #KissesForHope, we have been sharing survival stories on social media throughout the month. Today, we are sharing Debbie Folino’s story.
August 17, 2012. A day that time stopped for my family and me. At age 37 I was diagnosed with stage IIB breast cancer. How could this happen? I am too young. I am too busy. I have a family to take care of. This can’t be happening to me.
After a whirlwind of doctor’s appointments and tests, I went in for a bilateral mastectomy on September 6, 2012. I remember being scared. So scared. I was afraid of what was yet to come. In the two years since my diagnosis I have undergone a bilateral mastectomy, surgery to have a port placed, 16 chemotherapy treatments, reconstructive surgery, port removal, and a hysterectomy. It has been hard – not only on me, but on my family and friends as well. In these two years I have also learned how strong I am. How strong my family is. Just how much I am loved. I have also learned an important lesson. I have learned that life is short. You never know when something is going to happen. Not just cancer, but anything. I now try to slow down and enjoy each day. I cherish each day with my husband, children, mom, and sisters.
Yes, I had cancer. And I am aware that it can return. But I am choosing to keep living. I refuse to let cancer control me.
Join the conversation and share your stories! Participate in our #kissesforhope campaign by sharing your survival stories on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram – post with the hashtag #kissesforhope. You can also email your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.