I'm Jen, a fashion lover and budding jewelry designer, living in Marietta, GA.
Early in my pregnancy with my second child, I discovered a small lump. My Obstetrician told me it was probably a clogged duct, which was very common and nothing to worry about.
During my last checkup, my regular OB was on vacation, so I saw different doctor who suggested an ultrasound, just in case. The ultrasound technician took one look at the image and declared that she was "99% certain it was cancer." The shock of hearing those words sent me straight into labor.
Unfortunately, it WAS cancer.
Because the diagnosis took over 6 months since I had first discovered the lump, and breast cancer in young women tends to be very aggressive, the cancer had already spread.
In 2011, I was officially diagnosed with Stage 3C breast cancer.
I underwent a bilateral mastectomy, along with multiple rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. I'm happy to report that my cancer is now in remission, and I hope to be cancer-free for a very long time.
Prior to my cancer diagnosis, I had been working a stressful job in corporate finance with a very demanding boss. In fact, when I was pregnant with my first child, I went straight from work to the delivery room! I was often working 60 hour workweeks, with no overtime pay. I knew that I couldn't go back to my old job, knowing that I had to treasure every moment I've been given with my husband and kids.
In 2012, I started designing and selling jewelry to help support my family. In February 2014, I brought my friend, Anne, on board to help with my store, so I could spend more time with my family.
I donate 10% of all profits from this store to benefit breast cancer research and awareness, to help fight this terrible disease. My deepest wish is that I will be around to see my boys grow up to be fine young men.
I hope my story can help other young women out there. I want to urge you to take your health concerns into your own hands. Please, if you feel something is not right, get a second or third opinion. Insist on an ultrasound or mammogram. You know your own body better than anyone else does.
Thank you for visiting my store and reading my story. I know the subject matter is depressing, but I want to turn my story into one of inspiration. Being a cancer survivor has given me the opportunity to follow my own path, and I thank you for joining me on this journey.
Please give your loved ones an extra tight squeeze for me, cherish every memory, and live your life to its fullest.
With deepest love and gratitude for your support,
Live, Laugh, Love.