Worried…scared…numb –that’s about how I would describe my feelings on that third day of April 2018- the day I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer. I was 37 years old, an accomplished triple Board-Certified Infectious Disease, Internal Medicine and Pediatric Physician and above all, a mother.
It felt like my heart had been ripped from my chest. I had so many questions, so much uncertainty. I worried about my future and my daughter’s future.
I moved in slow motion that day but I still went to work and delivered some of the best care of my career. With all of the uncertainty I had about my future that I couldn’t control, I decided to focus on what I could.
I got a double mastectomy and axillary lymph node dissection followed by 5 months of chemotherapy and 25 cycles of radiation therapy. With the help of God and the hope, love and encouragement from my daughter and support team, I survived breast cancer and cancer treatment, and so can you.
Today, I am cancer free. Having cancer transformed my life! I am not only Dr. Alexea, triple Board-Certified physician and mother. I am a speaker, author, coach and breast cancer survivor and thriver. I have learned resilience, gratitude and happiness beyond what I thought possible, and have made a decision to live and encourage a life of total health and wellness.
Now, I coach women facing breast cancer treatment and their supporters, creating healing pathways so others experience total health and wellness: mind, body, and spirit. Take with you these 3 Life tips to encourage you towards a life of total health and wellness.
You can do it! - You can come out on the other side so don’t give up.
Learn to lean! - Lean on your supporters and survivors and thrivers who have made it to the other side when you feel weak.
Choose joy! – Practice mindfulness and gratitude. You may not be able to control the situation that you are in but you can control how you face it. Make a daily decision to choose joy.
Dr. Alexea Gaffney is a triple Board certified (Infectious Disease) physician, mom, speaker, author, coach and breast cancer survivor/thriver. For more tips and information and to become a well warrior, sign up for her e-mail list so you don’t miss out on new and exciting things to come.