October is a huge month for our family. Raising awareness and celebrating the survivors of breast cancer throughout this month is near and dear to our heart. I (Bethany) am a Stage 3 HER2-positive breast cancer survivor. Enduring six surgeries and ALL the side affections possible, including tubes in my eyeballs for tear duct surgery. But strange as it sounds, there were some unexpected gifts my breast cancer gave to our family, too.
HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2) breast cancer occurs when the HER2 gene mutates and causes an uncontrolled increase in production of HER2 what is normally a necessary process that promotes cell growth. HER2-positive breast cancers tend to grow faster and are more likely to spread than other breast cancers.
Susan G. Komen and other research teams combined their brilliant minds to combat this fast-growing cancer and developed several drugs just a decade before my diagnosis that saved my life.
On the one hand, we wouldn’t wish cancer on anyone and yet we wouldn’t erase cancer from our story because our family was changed for the better.
Social media can make it look like everyone is always happy, always beautiful, and the kids are always smiling—never fighting. When you live through a trauma, you know for certain that is not true.
Everyone is carrying some type of burden. The almost five-year journey it took for me to feel better after my cancer battle made us all more aware of that than ever before.
We are now convinced that we received 3 unexpected gifts from cancer: