By Sarah Garcia - February 05, 2019
Less than two years ago Brittany Hubbard was grateful to be preparing for the joyous day that was just ahead: her daughter’s wedding.
Today, grateful comes with even more significance as she enters the new year as a cancer survivor.
In April 2017, as preparation for the wedding was in full swing, Hubbard discovered a lump in her left breast. She kept quiet so as not to take any focus away from the big day.
The Monday after the wedding she contacted her primary care physician and made appointments to get the lump checked out. May 24 was the day that changed her life forever. Doctors confirmed Hubbard had ER+, PR+, HER2- Stage 1A Grade 1 breast cancer.
Her mother and both grandmothers were diagnosed with breast cancer in their 60s—so while she knew she was at high risk—she never expected it at just 48. She underwent a bilateral mastectomy and breast reconstruction at Moffitt Cancer Center.
Today, Hubbard is considered is in remission. And she is treasuring all the special moments in life just a little more.
“My perception of what is important has completely changed since that day,” Hubbard says.
Now that she’s on the other side of treatment and recovery, she is shifting her focus to the things that matter most: her health and spending time with family and friends.
More of a realization than a new year’s resolution, Hubbard says “I want to live this year being intentional. Not only with my personal health and fitness but with the things that I do and the relationships I have with those I love.”
Although life has returned to almost the same busy pace as before cancer, Hubbard has made what she calls some ‘lifestyle changes’ and is working on becoming a better version of herself. Simple things like drinking more water, eliminating sugary drinks and incorporating more whole foods into her diet – like fruits, veggies and lean protein. “I take the time to think about what I will eat each week, preparing food ahead of time for quick grab and go lunches and easy dinners,” she says.
Hubbard also participates in Moffitt’s Survivorship Program, where she gains skills to manage the transition from active treatment to recovery, and ultimately find her own, ‘new normal’ after cancer.
“I’m still a work in progress, but am so excited to see and experience all of the great adventures this year holds.”
Beginning this year as a survivor also means she has the experience to help support others facing similar battles. Hubbard knows firsthand the importance of having others to lean on as she navigated what she calls the most terrifying battle of her life.
Now that she has conquered her own battle, Hubbard offers a few words of wisdom for those just finishing up treatment and transitioning to life as a survivor.
“Take time for yourself. Maybe that’s a walk on the beach, reading a book, a day at the spa or simple time spent with loved ones.” She says to look for something that makes you feel happy and at peace.
Most importantly, she says, now is the time to enjoy life and focus on the positives, “It is a new day and it is beautiful!”