AMBASSADORS

Hope Lives Ambassadors

Hope Lives invites people who are dealing with breast cancer and either are or have been in active treatment to become ambassadors. As an ambassador, they speak to the community about Hope Lives, share their personal story, and share how Hope Lives services and care have enhanced their lives while going through treatment.

Courtney Woolsey

Age of Diagnosis: 29          Stage: 2

I found the lump in June 2018. A friend’s mom had just been diagnosed. I noticed a lump and it felt weird. My partner tried feeling for it and it was very small. I started having a mix of emotions. We had a big vacation planned for August. Everyone told me to just go get it checked and I said not until after vacation. I also thought “I am only 29… 29-year olds don’t get breast cancer!

 

The lump became more noticeable and bigger. We went on vacation and the day after we returned I called and made an appointment with my doctor.

 

She told me the same things I was thinking “you are too young and have no family history but let’s do an ultrasound.”

I had the ultrasound the same week. I knew something was not right when the radiologist came in. They wanted to get a biopsy scheduled. I was in denial and not wanting to face what might be happening. We had Labor Day weekend plans, so I waited until after the holiday weekend.

 

I spoke with the physician who was going to perform my biopsy and she thought maybe it was fibroadenoma, but it didn’t have those characteristics. I told her that the lump was getting bigger and the doctor thought it might be benign tumor which I have had in the past.  She also said I should definitely get it checked. My biopsy was done the next week. 

 

I got the call that it was cancer.  I actually knew before they called me because of pathology online. I saw that it was malignant carcinoma. I reached out to one of my good friends and asked her to look at my pathology report. She told me to call my doctor.

 

On September 11th, I remember getting the call from my primary who had originally told me to do the ultrasound and she was just as shocked as I was!  She gave me the contact information for oncology, and they got me in the same day. My nurse friend, my partner Bennett and I sat in her office for 2 hours.

 

My partner, Bennett lost his mom 3 years ago to breast cancer and so this has been very hard for him. It was also hard for my friend whose mom was recently diagnosed.

 

I didn’t know any 29-years old with breast cancer. Two weeks later, I had my port put in, lumpectomy, and started my chemo, 16 rounds finishing March 8th. Radiation begin March 25th. 

 

I’m in grad school, working full time, and I’m a mom. I tried to keep myself busy through all of this, and if I wasn’t, I’d be in bed and miserable.

 

Losing my eyelashes was the worst.  I loved my vouchers and used them for microblading, massages, a wig.  I loved them! I’m so grateful for the Hope Lives program. You made me feel I can conquer life as a woman, a mother, and a courageous female with a future of hope!

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