My story begins at age 35 when I felt a lump in my breast. Even though I am assured it will be nothing, an ultrasound shows that it is a suspicious lump. While I am still under, after a biopsy, the doctors tell my husband that it is definitely cancer. The cancer looks very aggressive as the lump has grown just in a short time. I am diagnosed with stage three ductal carcinoma. They will need to take my breast and determine a treatment plan. I remember thinking my girls were so young, just 9 and 7 years old, how could this be happening??
Your world stops, but you regroup, and take it one crisis at a time. My husband, Dennis, was my rock. Along with Dennis, my friends, family and school community, kept me in their safe care. I had a radical mastectomy and four doses of a chemo cocktail. Then the wait, did they get it all? Am I going to be alright? My answer comes three years post chemo I discover that I am expecting a third child. My oncologist was surprised to say the least!
I wish my cancer story ended there, but along my journey of survival for 26 years, I have felt many losses from cancer. My father-in-law passed from lung cancer, my father died after a long battle with prostate cancer, and my mother died with primary liver cancer. My brother is fighting bladder cancer and I recently had skin cancer. I have lost too many friends. I volunteer because I never want my children or grandchildren to hear the words “you have cancer”.
My name is Laura Baldini and I live in San Francisco, California. I walked my 1st Survivor Lap 11 years after my diagnosis. I am active in my local Relay For Life of Mid-Peninsula and I am a Voice of Hope for the American Cancer Society.