In January 2008, I heard those words and my life completely changed. It all started when I went for my regular mammogram in late November 2007. After getting screened, the technician told me to go back to the waiting room until I was called by one of the radiologists. I waited and I waited. I was called back in for another look. Then, I waited some more. After being there most of the day, the radiologist told me there were calcifications in my breasts and that I needed a biopsy. I couldn’t hear her talking because my tears shut everything out. My biggest fear was confirmed when the biopsy result came back. I had stage 2a breast cancer. Like a lot of stories I’ve heard, there was no lump. And if I hadn’t gone for my mammogram, I would never have known.
After a short pity party, I prepared for battle. This battle would consist of 7 surgeries, starting with a bilateral mastectomy followed by breast reconstruction. The last surgery was to have my ovaries removed because I didn’t want to take any chances. I was already blessed with 2 boys, so I didn’t need them anyway! I also went through 4 rounds of chemo. So, yes, I lost my hair, I lost my breasts but I didn’t lose my sense of humor and I didn’t lose my life!
An incredible network of friends and family stayed by my side every step of the way. I didn’t know that my journey 8 years ago would lead me to the women I know now and give me the strength to be there for them. 8 years seems like a long time, but I remember it like it was yesterday.
My experience has strengthened me. I see life through a lens that helps me keep everything in perspective and for that, I am grateful.
My name is Kimberly Solomon; I am a mother, a sister and a friend. I am also a breast cancer warrior and survivor!