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My Mom Was My Role Model

By Jody Sotello

October 12, 2016

My first personal experience with breast cancer was in 1997, when my mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer and given a life expectancy of 2-3 years. I believe my mom’s positive attitude kept her alive and living strong for 8 years.  I didn’t realize she would be my role model in learning to live with cancer. Here is my advice:

  • Do your monthly self-breast exams. That’s how I discovered my lump and was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000.
  • You know your body and you know when something isn’t right. In early 2009, not feeling right resulted in tests that found a small tumor in my lower right lung and a biopsy confirmed the breast cancer had spread.
  • Get routine check ups. Routine scans in 2011 found more tumors; one in the lung, one in a lymph node in the middle of my body and one on my liver.
  • Take action and get it checked out. In 2013, I lost the center vision in my left eye.  An MRI showed a very small brain tumor that would have gone undetected without the symptoms of my eye’s macular hole.
  • Having another birthday is better than not having one.And lastly, what I learned from my mom, stay as positive as you can, it makes you stronger!