Facing Chemotherapy

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I needed to go to the doctor because I found a breast lump. I found it earlier. And I ignored it because I had found lumps for about 10 years. And every time I went to the doctor, it had been the same thing-- get a mammogram, get an ultrasound.

My lifestyle was the perfect lifestyle. I was a 12-year vegetarian. I exercised every day. I didn't smoke I was a social drinker. So I had that perfect lifestyle. I did everything right.

Well, this time I ignored it, which was a mistake. Because this time, it was cancer. When I got the official word, I couldn't breathe. All I could think about was my kids. Every thought runs through your head-- being bald, been sick. Was I going to die?

You stop. It wasn't a tough decision for me to go through chemo. For me, chemo was live or die. And I was going to live. I have two kids. And it was not a choice for me. I can take myself back to my very first treatment.

I sat in the chemo chair. It was traumatic. Having somebody who is extremely caring come to you and bring this bag of chemo, who is gloved and gowned, is extremely traumatic. And she settled me down. . And I said, OK, let's do this.

My nurses became my family. They were there with me day in, day out. I had 20 consecutive weeks of chemotherapy. And they were with me every single week. They knew my story. I knew their story. They became my family.

Chemo makes you sick, but it's what you have to do to kill the cancer. And I was going to do whatever it took to kill the cancer. I can do anything for a short period of time. So you do what you have to do. I bought a wig-- huge mistake. [LAUGHTER] I am not the wig type. It was awful. I ended up donating it just as quickly as I bought it.

It was me accepting the fact that I have cancer. So as I'm sitting in the chemo chair, I wanted to see nothing more than a survivor. I wanted to see somebody on the other side. This is the most traumatic thing a person can go through.

Why would anybody in their right mind ever want to walk through those doors again? You've been stuck. You've been poked. You've been prodded. You've had surgeries. So here I am, eight years, two months, 13 days later, that survivor that goes back to make sure somebody in that chair sees a survivor.

I was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer. Now I'm going through chemotherapy and a clinical trial at Emory. When I see cancer survivors, it's a big source of inspiration. If they did it, I can do it. I'm Kris.

Nice to meet you.

Emily. I feel pretty normal most of the time.
When I talked to another woman going through this, I tell them and I reassure them, even though you're in a cancer bubble right now, you have no choice but to fight this and fight it right the first time.

I'm here to finish the race set out for me. I will fight until the very end, because I want to see my children grow up.

Going through chemo was the hardest thing, because you're broken down to nothing. And you fight your way back up. And if you can do that, you can do anything.