Ginette Williams: Breast Cancer Survivor & Warrior
I live in the beautiful island of St. Croix, United States Virgin Islands. Born and raised, life was moving wonderfully for me.
In October 2018, I was feeling some pain in my left breast so I decided to see my doctor. A mammogram came back inconclusive, so after my wedding in November of 2018, I was sent for another mammogram. This was done at the end of January 2019. In March, I had a biopsy done and I was diagnosed with Stage 0 DCIS.
A call to my parents and sister in Cincinnati had them begging me to travel to get a second opinion. Thinking that it would be a matter of a lumpectomy and maybe radiation, I thought I would be gone for two months top. Imagine seeing an oncologist and getting tons of tests done only to find out you have Stage 1/2 aggressive breast cancer. I had to leave my home, my husband, my son, my pet, my entire life behind. My husband and I were heartbroken when I was told that I would need to be in Cincinnati for 14 months.
Those were the longest 14 months of my life. I did 6 rounds of chemotherapy, and many rounds of treatment. I lost my hair, a nail; I had a few ER visits due to infections; and four surgeries.
A very tough decision I had to make was whether to take off my breasts. My oncologist was suggesting a lumpectomy but I had a fear that the cancer would return, so I opted to have a double mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction. To this day, I still grieve the loss of my breasts. I lost so much due to breast cancer, but it taught me so many things.
Three years later, I am doing well and cancer free. There are still some struggles, but I have life and that is the most beautiful thing.