Jane, a resident of Loudoun County , is a fitness instructor, a woman of faith and a breast cancer survivor.
Her journey started in 2011 when she had pain in her armpit. She had undergone a mammogram six months before the pain started and was given a clean bill of health. But the pain pushed her to head back into the doctors office for a check up. The result: extensive DCIS breast cancer.
"Any unusual kind of pain I encourage any woman not to ignore it," says Jane. "I was shocked at how fast the cancer grew in just six months."
Jane was originally told that a lumpectomy and radiology should take care of her cancer but Jane did her due diligence and her research. She finally sought a second opinion and underwent a double mastectomy since extensive DCIS can cause the cancer to be in several quadrants of the breast.
"I was so happy I went for a second opinion, the expertise, knowledge and care of my oncologist and plastic surgeon were absolutely wonderful."
After Jane's double mastectomy she underwent several reconstruction surgeries.
"The process can be very painful and uncomfortable, you get expanders filled to stretch the skin, and the silicon implants you get later to replace the expanders in another surgery. I chose silicon implants which are a lower risk. Then you have nipple reconstruction which is a skin graph and finally you go back for nipple tattoos."
Jane said it was amazing what a good plastic surgeon can do, they can make you whole again.
Through the months of what felt like never ending surgeries Jane leaned on her friends, family and faith community.
"I had a member of my church just simply mention to me that we will lift you up in prayer" Jane recalled, "And I immediately felt lifted, lighter and I felt the support."
Jane is continuing her 30 year career as a fitness instructor, where she has touched the lives of hundreds if not thousands of women. She says if she has any advice for other women going through their breast cancer journey it would be to really have faith in yourself, in your strength, because you are stronger than you know. You will rise because the spirit is so strong.
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