My name is Jennifer Miller, and I am 43.
I was diagnosed with a form of breast cancer called ductal carcinoma in situ and later found that I tested positive for the BRCA2 gene as well as I am estrogen-receptor positive.
This diagnosis turned my world upside down quickly, and I am lucky to have had my family and friends to support me throughout this hard journey.
Thankfully with the support from my husband, Wes; parents and stepparents; my two wonderful boys Marc, 18, and Aiden, 7, both of whom mean the world to me; along with close extended family and friends, I am here today to share my story.
I was scared and yes I cried, but you gotta keep moving and stay positive.
Upon diagnosis, my journey began with a double mastectomy, a 12-week course of chemotherapy along with Herceptin treatments every three weeks.
I can proudly say I completed the treatments in August, and for that I am grateful! A whole lot more comes with breast cancer — not just physically but also emotionally.
It first hit me when I had to cut my hair as it was falling out from the chemotherapy. To some it’s just hair, but like everything else it was a part of me and who I am.
And honestly, I sure do miss my beautiful long hair, but I know in time that is something that will grow back. Breast cancer changed my outlook on life. Sure I was tired at times, but I do not let cancer define the strong person I am and found throughout this process.
My family means the world to me and helped motivate me to keep pushing harder to fight this cancer because I want to be here for all my family’s treasured events.
My boys are my life, and I will be here to watch them grow up. I will be there to watch my son get his diploma. My little guy Aiden — I will be there for all his baseball games. Mom loves watching him play his sports.
I’m not going to lie. There are times of anger when I ask, "Why me?"
I was determined that I wasn’t going to let cancer control me, so I decided to fight long and hard, and I can say with much strength and courage that I have kicked cancer’s butt!
Jennifer Miller, Crown Point