Hi, I’m Jenny Hunt and here is my story. In 2008, I heard the word everyone would never want to hear. CANCER! I was diagnosed with Stage 2 hormone receptor positive breast cancer in my right breast. I was devastated and heard nothing else but the word CANCER. Going back a couple of months, I found a lump in my breast and denied it to be anything. I finally went to my OBGYN and she sent me straight to get a mammogram and set an appointment with a surgeon. I had already begun that regime, so a mammogram was nothing new to me. The radiologist after reading my mammogram came in and spoke with me directly telling me to see a surgeon. Fast forward, I had a mastectomy just on the right breast on September 2, 2008 with reconstruction. Following the surgery, I had my first appointment with my oncologist. I was told by the surgeon the cancer was gone so I didn’t even think of any further treatment other than reconstruction. Well, I was surprised! It was recommended that although my cancer was gone with my breast removal, I needed to have chemotherapy treatment along with an oral drug following chemotherapy (tamoxifen) for at least five years. I was told I would have four treatments of chemotherapy then would begin the oral treatment. I was also told I would lose my hair.
Let me tell you, you can not go through this alone. My husband never blinked an eye at least not in front of me. He held my hand and gave me the love and support I needed to know I could get through this. I know he was scared but he always put up a brave front in front of me. Even when I asked him to shave my head after my second treatment as my hair was falling out in clumps, he didn’t let me see him cry. I also had the love and support of my best friend, godchildren, family, church and co-workers or should I say my work family. Knowing I was going to lose my hair a few of my besties went with me to pick out a wig! I finally got to laugh at the CANCER! I got through chemotherapy, but it was one of the toughest things I ever did. I began my regime of Tamoxifen every day for five years and then went to another drug, Letrozole.
Unfortunately, my story doesn’t end there. I was diagnosed again with hormone receptor positive and HER2 positive breast cancer in my left breast in 2015. Wow, I was so scared it had come back. Fortunately, it was not metastatic but another primary cancer. Meaning, it didn’t spread from one breast to the other. Although it was small, there was no question for me I wanted to have a mastectomy on my left breast in November 2015. This time, I didn’t have to have chemotherapy, but reconstruction again and just last week had another surgery. All the support I had the first time stood up again to get me through it. This time I had another work family as well.
I’m currently on Exemestane (Aromasin). These drugs are a direct result of the American Cancer Society’s research and I thank them for what they do to combat cancer as well as take care of current patients, survivors and their families.
Today I am a two-time breast cancer survivor, but in some ways I’m proud that I’ve made this journey. I’ve met a lot of people and hope that I’ve made a difference. At the time I was diagnosed in 2008, a friend and co-worker was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer and we went through chemotherapy together (although she had eight treatments). Then again, in 2009 another close friend and co-worker was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer as well. Both are doing great and cancer free today. You just never know who and when this will affect.
I couldn’t have done it without my husband, my family, my friends, my work family and my church family. They all know who they are and how important they are and the special place they all have in my heart. I wish I could name everyone that supported, prayed and all they did for me, but that would be a book. Cancer is not a fight you can do alone. I got through it by being open and yes talking about my reconstruction even around the men in my life. I had a lot of prayers and I’ll end it with one thing that touched my heart that I’ll never forget. My godson’s class said prayers every morning. After my first diagnosis, the teacher asked if there was anyone they needed to pray for, my godson, John Paul Manning, said to please pray for me. Every morning following that, the whole class made sure they said a prayer for me. CANCER is an ugly word! But we can beat this disease by continuing to support our family and friends who may have, will have or know someone who has CANCER. We can support the American Cancer Society who does so much to fight this disease and help those who have CANCER. I do and show my support in making donations and walking in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer every year in October.