Hello. My name is Kristen Berset-Harris and I am a 2-time Breast Cancer Survivor.
Some of you may remember me sitting alongside Lesli, Adam and Topper as WUSA9’s evening Sports Anchor. Now I have joined the team of Great Day Washington.
I wanted to share my story of survival…which is just one of millions! I find strength through others and I hope I can provide some for you.
I was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 at the age of 27. I actually found the lump a year earlier while doing a self-breast exam but was told two separate times it was only a cyst. So imagine my surprise when I met with a plastic surgeon at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore for a consult to remove the “cyst” only to be told later it was cancer.
Thankfully, I caught it very early. I opted for a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy. I felt that the decision to remove both my breasts was my best chance for piece of mind. The last thing I expected was to hear the words “You have cancer” again.
But 7 years later, and just 2 years after finishing treatment with hormonal medicine, I found another lump. It was November 2016. I had just returned home from my bachelorette party and Brent, my husband to-be, gave me a tight hug to welcome me home! Something under my arm hurt. When I rubbed the spot I felt a hard ball… and I just knew.
I got married December 30th, 2016 and less than 3 weeks later had surgery to remove this latest tumor. Thankfully, because of early detection again, I caught it very early. I decided not to have Chemotherapy and instead underwent 6 1/2 weeks of radiation. It was a roller coaster of emotions. Some days I felt great and others not so much. But I got through it and now I’m continuing to recover while navigating my “new normal”.
People are always so surprised when they hear I was diagnosed again, especially before the age of 40. And yes, while there is no medical explanation as to why, I look at this recent battle as a blessing in disguise. It offered me several months to spend with my new husband and my new step-daughters. This was time I wouldn’t have had otherwise. The only things I got to focus on this past year were myself and my family! We grew closer, shared some incredible memories together and for that I am forever grateful. Now, I am back in a new role at WUSA as Host of Great Day Washington and let me tell you.. I am having a blast. I can’t remember the last time I have been this happy!