In honor of breast cancer awareness month and everyone affected by breast cancer, SpartanNash and its stores are supporting the fight against the disease. Hear from Lisa Bade, a SpartanNash clinical pharmacist, who is currently battling breast cancer:
My name is Lisa Bade. I am 34 years old. I am a wife, mom of two, daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin, and friend. I am also a breast cancer patient. Yup, it’s true. I have stage three triple negative invasive ductal carcinoma.
My life forever changed on Friday, February 19, 2016. It was that day that I officially became a person with breast cancer. In the months that followed, I had a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction (tissue of both breasts removed), an axillary lymph node dissection (removal of lymph nodes from my left armpit), learned I had a mutation of the BRCA1 gene, and underwent 5 months – 16 rounds – of intense chemotherapy. I am now in my third of six weeks of daily radiation. In December, I will have my ovaries and fallopian tubes removed as a preventative measure. In January 2017, I will begin a clinical trial investigating the use of a newer chemotherapy medication in persons like me.
I don’t tell you this for sympathy or empathy. In fact, I don’t want you to feel sorry for me. I tell you this because I want all to know that breast cancer is not an “older woman’s” disease nor is it going away. This disease affects women of all ages, does not discriminate, and continues to be diagnosed. It forever changes your life and takes no prisoners. In short, it is pure madness.
However, through my journey with madness, I smile. A lot. I have met people that forever changed my life. I have formed friendships that will stand the test of time. Existing relationships have only thrived and grown stronger. I have learned what is really important in life and to relish each moment. You see, life is often lived with a false sense of immortality. The reality is, that just isn’t true.
This October is different for me. As many know, October is breast cancer awareness month. This October, I encourage you to be aware of the women who have fought, are fighting, will fight, and those who have lost the fight for life.
My name is Lisa Bade. I am 34 years old. I am a wife, mom of two, daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin, and friend. I am also a breast cancer patient. However, that last part – the breast cancer part – will never ever define me. I refuse.