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National Spotlight

Financial Resources —Did you know that there are many financial resources that can help people living with breast cancer? Find out more

Darci Baird's Survivor Story

Darci Baird's Survivor Story

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In July of 2009 I was a healthy 49-year-old woman dreading turning 50.  Then I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Suddenly turning 50 was very, very important to me.  Let me back up a bit…

 

I was blessed to be adopted as an infant.  As such there is much about my family medical history that I don’t know.  Because of that fact my doctor followed the protocol of mammograms beginning at age 40.  His forethought may well have saved my life.  It was during my routine mammogram that a spot was detected in my left breast.  I went from the mammo suite to an ultrasound room.  After the ultrasound I was set up with an appointment to see a surgeon.  “Wait – what? Surgeon?  Why? I’m healthy.  This is a routine exam.  What’s going on here?”

 

The surgeon told me that there was less than a 5% chance that this spot was anything to be concerned about, but he wanted to get a biopsy to be 100% certain.  I had the biopsy on a Thursday, late afternoon, and got my results phone call Monday morning.  Guess what?  I beat those 5% odds. I was now a 49-year-old woman with breast cancer.  What followed was a flurry of appointments with oncology, radiation therapy, plastics, back to the surgeon (who I think felt almost as badly as I did that I had beaten his odds ), and decisions about my plan of attack.

 

That’s just the medical side of things.  I also was left trying to figure out how to tell my family that I had cancer.  How do you tell the people who mean the most to you that you are now in a fight for your life?  How do you impose that kind of pain on them?  Once again, I am blessed.  My family and friends rallied around me.  They prayed for me from the moment they heard the news.  I had a tremendous care team.  Everyone that had a hand in my treatment was exceptional.  Above all – God is good.

 

I am here today to tell my story so that others can hear this simple message: cancer is NOT a death sentence.  Let yourself feel the fear.  Swallow it down and become a warrior.  Be fierce.  And laugh.  Laugh every chance you get.  Be your own best advocate.  Speak your mind.  You know your body like no one else does.  This is a fight you can win.  From where I stand now, turning 50 was great.  I’m looking forward to 60.  And 70.   And 80…

I’ll be the one at the party wearing PINK!!