'Let's annihilate this': Woman goes on survival mode after breast cancer diagnosis
She had no risk factors, no
family history, and had just been deemed "healthy" by her doctor.
Trish Gautier says her breast cancer diagnosis felt like she had been hit by
lightning. But Gautier was determined to battle through the treatment and live
her best life.
Gautier was 37 years old when she found a lump. After testing, doctors
discovered breast cancer, and suggested a lumpectomy. But Trish chose a more
aggressive route - a double mastectomy.
"I felt like, 'let's annihilate this, let's not leave anything to
chance,'" she says.
During the procedure, her surgeon found a second cancer in a completely
different part of her body, that didn't come up on any pre-imaging.
Gautier, the mother of twin boys, who works as a visiting nurse, says she
barely remembers the next year because she was in survival mode.
She says growing up in Hempstead - in the West Indian culture - it was not
acceptable to share health issues publicly.
She Googled "young breast cancer survivor New York," and that's how
she found a group called The Breasties
. She now works with the group.
She also found Hewlett House
. There, she shares
stories with other survivors, gives and gets advice, doles out encouragement
and works with women who are newly diagnosed.