For the month of October, Tommy’s Express Car Wash is excited to be partnering with Susan G. Komen. Their mission is to “Save lives by meeting the most critical needs in our communities and investing in breakthrough research to prevent and cure breast cancer.“ Here at Tommy’s Express we wanted to do our part to help contribute to the fight against breast cancer.
However, the content was a more significant challenge than we anticipated. We knew there was a story to be told and education to be had. As a result, we developed our #CleanForACure #SurvivorStory campaign. We reached out to our nationwide following, asking if anyone had a story. Stories involving battles won and lost with breast cancer. The response was astounding and took us on an emotional journey we couldn’t have been prepared for. Here’s what we read… (prepare to have a transformed perspective about breast cancer)
In 2006, I was diagnosed with male breast cancer. I had a modified radical mastectomy in May of that year and have been a survivor for the past 14 years. I was lucky they found the cancer early, giving me a better chance of survival. Although somewhat rare, men need to know they can get breast cancer.
February 2016 (was supposed to go in October) Staci went in for a mammogram… yep cancer… small, still in milk duct… so the next steps were a biopsy. The cancer was removed and thankfully was not in any lymph nodes. Thirty-three radiation treatments later, she was cancer-free! Don’t wait to get your yearly check-up! It could have been much worse.
I saw your ad about sharing breast cancer stories. My world was turned upside down on October 2, 2019, when I got the news that I had breast cancer. For a month before, I went through several tests to confirm my diagnosis, and it was the longest month of my life. I was only 45, how could I have breast cancer so young? I truly feel that there was some divine intervention. I originally went to the doctor for something completely different and told my doctor that I should probably schedule a mammogram since I had been putting it off. It turns out I never had the original infection I thought I had, but instead found out I had a very early stage of breast cancer. Early detection is critical!! I choose to go with a double mastectomy after hearing I had about a 45% chance of returning if I did a lumpectomy with radiation. There was no way I was going with those odds. On December 19, I had bilateral mastectomies.
I am so fortunate that I did not have to have radiation or chemotherapy. Again, early detection is KEY! Although, I have felt guilt over not being as sick as others. It has been a lot of “why me?”. On March 5, 2020, I started the reconstruction process, with a final surgery on July 2, 2020. It has been a long and emotional process. Despite all the support, it is still a very lonely and personal process. It is still surreal to think that I had cancer and came out on top! I hope to inspire others to be strong and fight. Thank you so much for dedicating October to such an important cause.
I’m a very lucky survivor for 18 years as of October 6. I say lucky because my cancer was caught very early, I had excellent care, and I’ve survived to enjoy life and all of my family.