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My Cancer Journey

Updated: Sep 25, 2022

Life was moving along for me. Each and every day was going as usual, similar to the days of my friends and family. Some ups, some downs but mostly ups. When I went to see my doctor for my yearly checkup, he suggested that I go for a preventative mammogram. I thought to myself, do I really need to go for a mammogram at my age? So I left my doctor's office and made an appointment to get my mammogram.

So when the time came, I went to the appointment. What did I have to be afraid of? Nothing. I GOT THIS. I was always healthy. No cancer history in my family. But then a few days later, my life took an unexpected turn. I still remember it like it was yesterday. It was late morning, New Year's Eve 2020 when my phone rang. It was the hospital calling with my results. The nurse asked me if this was a good time to talk. I said Of Course. It was at this moment that my life changed.

The nurse told me I had cancer. I was devastated!!! I was 42 years old and I was diagnosed with Malignant Neoplasm of a lower-outer quadrant of my right breast. (Triple Negative Breast Cancer). I asked her what should I do next. She told me to call my doctor the first chance I get and to go out and celebrate the New Year!!

How can you celebrate the New Year with news like this? I could not stop crying. I struggled with dealing with this news and pondered how I was going to share this news with my family. It was not easy!! Even though this was terrible news, I considered myself lucky to have my family and friends right there by my side to go along on this journey with me.

The first step I took on my journey was Chemotherapy. I had 16 sessions of Chemotherapy that took place over the course of 6 months. This was the hardest thing I have ever gone through. Chemo is something that will suck all of the life right out of you. But after the 16 sessions, my doctor gave me good news. The Chemo worked and cancer had shrunk!! Now, on to the next step. I said goodbye to both of my breasts. I had a double mastectomy and then, breast reconstruction surgery.

As of today, I am cancer FREE! However, I know that with God watching me, I will be able to see my boys graduate college, get married and have children.

Throughout my journey, the United Colors of Pink provided me with great support. Marta Zawadzka was the first person who reached out and thanks to the funding from the United Color of Pink, I was able to receive IV vitamins twice a week during my Chemotherapy. From the start of my Chemo till today, I am receiving Dr. Mercola supplements that boost my immune system and energy level. She also worked to have someone come by and assist with my housework when I was going through my Chemo.

The second person who was a lifesaver during my journey was Kasia August. She was my shining light. Words cannot express what a great support she was for me. She visited me on a regular basis, taught me the importance of nutrition and brought natural products for everyday use. The times when I was in a dark place, she reached out to me and talked to me for hours, until I felt better. Our conversations always ended in laughter. I wish everyone would get a chance to know Marta and Kasia as they are a great support team that is dedicated to supporting women who are suffering from cancer.

I am very grateful for all the help I received from the United Colors of Pink. Thank you to everyone who has donated!!! My story above is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the help and assistance that the United Colors of Pink provides.

Once again, THANK YOU.

Monika Rydzy

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