I am a Breast Cancer Survivor. Guest Blog by Izabella Lewandowski

These last 18 months have provided one emotional roller coaster after another. Going through all this came with a heavy toll on my mind and my body and soul.

This is my journey through Breast Cancer

I think it goes without saying that it’s been quite a rough two years for all of us. But who would’ve thought that being diagnosed with Breast Cancer wouldn’t be the worst part of 2020! This last year has put a lot of things in perspective for meas a deaf person, a teacher, a partner, a daughter, a sister, and a friend.

Let me introduce name is Izabella Lewandowski, and I am a breast cancer survivor.

This photo was captured right when I felt the lump on my breast

These last 18 months have provided one emotional roller coaster after another. Going through all this came with a heavy toll on my mind and my body and soul.

I was enduring multiple rounds of aggressive chemotherapy and six straight weeks of daily radiation and physical therapy. I also had holistic treatments, ongoing follow-ups, and not to mention the medications I’ll need to take for the next ten years.

Each session left me completely exhausted. The good days seemed to be more infrequent the further along I got in my journey. I was suffering from the aftermath of all the treatments. My body and mind were adjusting to all the new changes, and I couldn’t predict how I would feel day-to-day, sometimes hour-to-hour. I have endured over 100 appointments, not to mention all the driving back and forth for over 2,000 miles (Did I drive enough miles to reach the East Coast?!)

Through my chemo days

I finished my last treatment in early April, and as of my last round of tests, I’m in remission! That sentence alone should make me feel warm and fuzzy, but the struggles are something I won’t have a shortage of for quite a while. Ongoing swelling in random places on my body and achy joints constantly remind me how simple life was before cancer. Waking up in the morning without pain, sleeping through the night without hot flashes, and even just making plans with friends without worrying about feeling up for it or not. These are the simple things I took for granted and miss dearly. It’s hard to fathom how many lives cancer has taken and that it is such a privilege to be alive to continue the fight. Winning this battle was just the beginning; now, I’m trying to win the war.

I was celebrating at the beach after my treatments ended!

I have learned SO MUCH from this rough journey! But what gave me solace throughout all this was the human connection. It was the most significant presence in those difficult times. There were so many times I picked up my phone to see a message of support from so many people.

Not going to lie; my spirit has suffered dramatically at times. I lost my self-confidence (who wouldn’t!). There were days I didn’t want to continue. I felt like there was no light and the end of the tunnel. I was so lucky to have amazing people around me, I have such a strong army, and they have made such a difference in my life.

This was month four after my last chemo treatment.

There are no words to say how thankful I am for every one of them during the most challenging days of my life. I am forever grateful. In this quote, by “America’s Got Talent,” Seema Verma, who has a 2% chance of living due to her cancer, has stuck by me, “You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy.”

Cancer came.

We fought.

I won!