Two years ago, in March of 2020, my life was forever changed. And it wasn’t because of the one C-word we all know too well, COVID, but rather another dreaded C-word, CANCER.
Leading up to that infamous spring of 2020 no one was expecting to be launched into a global pandemic and for our lives as we knew them to be upended. Similarly, the last thing I thought would ever happen to me was to hear the words, “you have cancer.” I was just 37 years old at the time, I was in the best health of my adult life and there was hardly a blip of any type of cancer in my large family history. Cancer wasn’t even on my radar despite my interest in health and the fact I had worked for PatientPoint during the previous four years as a designer on hundreds of patient education guides.
Even my best-laid plans were no match for cancer; in that second week of March 2020, I was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer called triple negative breast cancer. Initially I went through what many individuals likely experience after a life-altering diagnosis. Bewilderment. Shock. Pressure. Fear. Anxiety. It was mind-numbing those early weeks (not to mention in tandem with COVID hitting our nation and world); simply managing dozens of medical appointments and making sense of what would be the right course of treatment was like a full-time job.
However, through anger and tears I soon felt an immense purpose to document my journey to raise awareness and promote patient advocacy. I began to look toward the positives and ways to use my experience to help others. I was grateful the cancer was caught early, and it was stage 1b, improving my chances of survival. I was surrounded by an incredible support system of not only my husband, family, friends and peer support groups, but also the doctors and clinical staff invested in my treatment. I began to truly understand the power of human connection and, as the months went by throughout my treatment, I would tell myself, “I’m determined to get through this; I still have so much I want to share. I’m not finished here yet….”
Cancer may have once been my diagnosis but now—through the power of PatientPoint—it is, without a doubt, my calling.
Fate has a peculiar way of working sometimes. Just nine months prior to my diagnosis, in July of 2019, I had left PatientPoint to pursue my own freelance design business. While it had been one of the most difficult decisions I’d made to leave, I had told myself if I didn’t take the chance and seize the opportunity, I would always wonder “what if.” So, I took the risk. Little did I know that decision would provide me the time nine months later to solely focus on cancer treatment throughout 2020. But fate wasn’t finished with me yet….
I finished active cancer treatment in November 2020 and was deemed to have no evidence of disease (NED), woo! It was official; I was a breast cancer survivor. And while it was the best feeling ever to finally reach survivorship, I felt something was still missing.
Enter PatientPoint. Or, should I say, re-enter….
Fueled by my now greater passion for health and mission for patient advocacy and education, paths crossed at just the right time, and I returned to PatientPoint in March 2021, just one year after my cancer diagnosis. Having been immersed in the patient side throughout my treatment has given me incredible perspective and appreciation for the importance of our products. To be a part of PatientPoint, creating products that are connecting with patients which could impact their health journeys, their quality of life and their human existence is one of the most powerful contributions I’ve made in my career.
For me working at PatientPoint is not just a job: it’s a privilege, especially after having faced my own mortality. Cancer may have once been my diagnosis but now—through the power of PatientPoint—it is, without a doubt, my calling.