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Fighting to Win: My Journey through Breast Cancer

Chris

Chris Matthews recently shared her cancer journey during a BCM Talk.

The ‘Breast Cancer Mosaic Talks’ complement GE Healthcare’s Breast Cancer Mosaic, which has been active since October 2009, helping to tell the stories of women, men, caregivers and medical professionals who have been touched by breast cancer.

Diagnosed in November 2009 with stage one invasive ductal carcinoma, Chris Matthews from Mount Pleasant, Connecticut recently shared her cancer journey. During her video talk, Chris talks candidly about her physical and emotional reactions to diagnosis, a lumpectomy and partial reconstruction surgery and then chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Cancer-free for over two and a half years, Chris talks about her support mechanisms; her family and friends, the team of medical professionals – including her surgeon, plastic surgeon, oncologist, physician’s assistant and technicians, as well as social media and the Internet.

During her difficult journey, Chris shares that social media and in particular Facebook were her lifeline and helped her connect to the outside world. Being able to research and ask questions in breast cancer association chat rooms and forums helped her worry less, remain positive and make informed decisions about her treatment. She also created a blog to capture and share her experience with others.

Today she uses social media to keep in touch with other sufferers and survivors and also educate women about early diagnosis, getting mammography examinations regularly and being aware of the many different signs and symptoms of breast cancer.

“Getting breast cancer, as strange as it may sound, was a gift. I was compelled to share the experience, to show the world that I was still here; still standing strong, proud and beautiful! I blogged about my entire experience, and begged and pleaded every woman I knew and met to get their annual mammogram. Early detection is the key to survival. I participated in relays and walks, raised money, and talked about my experience. Outreach to others is part of my promise to myself to not be JUST a survivor, but a ‘thriver’ as well,” said Chris Matthews.