Breast Cancer Survivor
Tiffany remembers learning about the importance of breast self-exams when she was in high school. It was a healthy habit she adopted early.
Some 20 years later, she was in the shower preparing to go out with her family when she discovered a large lump on her breast. She knew it was abnormal and a week later it was confirmed she had stage 2 breast cancer.
“I had heard horror stories of breast cancer,” says Tiffany. “I felt my life was over.” Then, a friend who was a nurse at Moffitt Cancer Center recommended Tiffany make an appointment with Dr. Susan Hoover.
Her fears were soon alleviated.
“After meeting with Dr. Hoover I left with the sense that I could beat it,” Tiffany says. “She was very comforting to me. Although we understood the severity of what I was dealing with, she promised and assured me that I was going to be on the other side of cancer in two years.”
Her cancer would require a very aggressive treatment plan. To explain to her two young daughters what her future held, Tiffany gave them a book Dr. Hoover recommended called “My Mother Had to Have a Mastectomy.”
“I never once hid that from them,” says Tiffany. “I allowed them to see me in every state and every stage. They understood breast cancer and the lesson I was trying to teach them: you can overcome anything.”
Tiffany summoned her courage by surrounding herself with positive people and refusing to ever think negatively. “For me it was probably more mental because I realized that this is where a lot of people lose the battle,” she says.
Now in remission, Tiffany says she lives “every day as a gift.” She’s more mindful of making the right food choices and exercising to remain healthy. She has also become a champion for women’s health, reminding them to be attentive to their bodies and not be afraid of going to the doctor and getting a mammogram.
“Your life is worth going to get yourself checked out,” says Tiffany. “That my heart’s cry to women all over the world.”