At the age of 46, Robyn’s grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Despite Robyn’s family history, Robyn was convinced it would never happen to her. That is until one September day when she noticed a lump. Robyn and her doctor both believed it was only fibrocystic breast tissue. Unfortunately, the lump continued to grow until she could no longer avoid it. Seeking further results, Robyn got a mammogram and biopsy confirming it was Stage 2 breast cancer. Robyn recently changed insurance companies, complicating the process as she tried to navigate the situation. She had to find a primary care physician to guide her through these difficult times.
“All I could do was cry,” Robyn said, as she reflected on that time of overwhelming stress and emotion.
Seeking further knowledge about the disease, Robyn decided to attend the Susan G. Komen Oregon and SW Washington Breast Cancer Issues Conference. While Robyn enjoyed meeting fellow breast cancer survivors and taking selfies at the photo booth with her mom, it was Keynote speaker, Sue Best’s, presentation that took Robyn’s breath away. Sue guided the audience through her battle with breast cancer while sharing advice to make the most of each day and discovering new aspects of ourselves. Robyn felt a deep connection with Sue’s journey, as well as her discussion of spirituality. “There was not a dry eye in the house,” she says. Sue continues to positively connect and have a profound effect on Robyn to this day. Sue’s story reveals how embracing spirituality helps give meaning to our lives while unraveling the unknown of breast cancer.
In Robyn’s journey, she learned to be independent, strong, and navigate through the necessary appointments & procedures on her own. From Sue’s speech to her support system, Robyn embraces everything she can about the journey. Even today, she reflects “I feel so strongly empathetic with people who have cancer now.” For those newly diagnosed with breast cancer, she advises them to learn the system and be their own best advocate. Sue affirms Robyn’s advice: “With information, we have power.” Robyn’s fight with breast cancer has taught many lessons, but one in particular: Everyone has a different experience with cancer. Despite these differences, Robyn shows that working through the struggles can make the battle a little easier.
Thank you, Robyn for your continued efforts in the fight against breast cancer!