Trisha Doucet

My name is Trisha Doucet, and I’m a breast cancer Survivor. Whew…Glad that’s over with. And I mean that in so many ways.

I was diagnosed with Stage 2b, Triple Negative Breast Cancer in December 2013. I began chemotherapy in January of 2014. After my second round of chemotherapy, my 5 cm tumor had shrunk to half that size. By the end of chemo, I was in complete chemical remission. I had surgery in June of that year. In July, the pathology reports confirmed that I was in pathological complete remission. I started radiation in August, the plan being to reduce the risk of future recurrence. I completed reconstruction in January 2015. I look back with amazement at what a whirlwind of emotion that year was for me and my –family.

I thought that I would keep this all to myself and not share it on social media. A good friend of mine likes to refer to Facebook as Funbook. And she’s right — Facebook should be fun. Yet, it was the first place I thought of, when I was promoted to share my story. Facebook is a great forum to capture your family and friend’s attention in today’s day and age, where everyone that you care about and love can be scattered across this Country and the World. So…here goes, again:

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I take health warning signs seriously. I always have. And I did in this case, too. I felt a lump. And despite the fact that there is no history of breast or ovarian cancer in my family. And despite the fact that my mother was tested and does not carry the gene that is associated with breast cancer. And despite the fact that I have had other lumps that were nothing but cysts that disappeared with time, I took this seriously. I went to my doctor. And she took it seriously. And it was serious. But we caught it with time to treat it. To take an aggressive approach and eradicate the cancer. And we did it.

Breast cancer is my story. There are so many more stories out there. There are so many survivors, of so many different things. But, here’s my unsolicited advice. Take your health seriously. Listen to your body. See professionals who know what they are doing.

Because our lives are precious. And time is precious. I’ve been blessed to have so many smart women and men focus their time and talent on making sure I am a Survivor. I’ve been blessed to have so many family and friends take the time to pray for me, to love me and my family, and to take care of me when I needed it the most. And I’ve stayed positive. Because faith and support and positivity can get you through the darkest, toughest times. And now, I have more time. This whole process gave me a clearer perspective on what is truly important in life. I watch in amazement as my children grow. I look at my husband every day with a heart full of love and gratitude. I try not to take anything for granted. And I try to give back and pay forward every blessing that I have been given.

So, sharing my story is my attempt at paying it forward. My giving back. Because, even if only one person reads this and acts, then I’ve accomplished my goal.

Tina DeSalvo