Meet Nurse Chantell: a 2010 Herzing University RN Graduate who is returning this Fall for her BSN. “I am excited and ready to continue my education in spite of a life-changing event this year.” Her story is extraordinary, not only because of her decision to return to school with teenagers and a husband to care for, but also because she is currently undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer.
At age 32, as a nurse and working wife and mother of three with NO family history of breast cancer, Chantell felt a lump in her breast during a self exam. “It felt like a cyst, but I dismissed the idea of something more serious, mainly because of my age. I had a cyst in the past and it felt similar. It even seemed to disappear, but eventually I felt it again and realized I had to get a professional exam. My nursing instincts kicked in even though my head and heart were struggling with the thought of cancer.”
Her physician suggested she get a mammogram immediately. As it turned out, her life changed with a positive diagnosis of breast cancer. Her surgery was scheduled, and a tumor the size of a lemon was removed along with 20 suspicious lymph nodes. The surgeon prepared the family for the possibility of a negative prognosis. Here is where her faith, family, and friends helped her prepare for the unknown. For several days, they waited to hear the results. The surgeon made a special call from out of town to share the GREAT news. Her cancer was in only one node and the other 19 were clear. She also tested negative for the Braca gene. With only a few more treatments and radiation ahead, Chantell shares her story not with fear and sadness, but with hope and optimism-not only for herself and her daughters, but for the many women who may take action after hearing her story.
“Breast Cancer strikes men and women… and the main message I want to make is that younger women can and do get breast cancer and it can be treatable with early intervention! Life can, and does, go on for survivors like me.”
We look forward to October…Breast Cancer Awareness Month! We look forward to seeing our BEAUTIFUL FRIEND IN PINK.