#JORDYSTRONG - Battling Breast Cancer While I Carried a Little Warrior - A Story of Positivity & Strength
August 27, 20194 min read
You never know how strong you are until you have to be.
This is a quote I have thought about and embraced everyday since I was diagnosed with breast cancer this past October.
I was 32 years old and 11 weeks pregnant when I found out I had breast cancer. Never did I think I would have received that phone call. Never did I think I would be forming the sentence-I have breast cancer. At first I literally could not even form the words, I could not put the sentence together. Soon after I was able to say it but it came along with waterworks, and now I have full social account and sharing it with you. Can you believe that?
Someone shared with me that cancer doesn’t need to take you down. Once I accepted that we could get through it and there was a finish line in sight, I became stronger, more courageous and hopefully inspired others. I also started my growing wig collection, which I am proudly now up to 5. I am really starting to understand the “blondes have more fun” phrase. Also not complaining that I get to wake up and throw on perfect hair everyday. My getting ready time has been cut in half, and I haven’t shaved my legs in 8 months.
You know when you precisely remember every second about what happened in a day? Well, I do about that fateful day, down to what I was wearing. At first, my husband Jon and I collapsed to the floor. You can imagine the thoughts that were running through our heads…What stage? Did it spread? What about the baby? Is it treatable? Is it beatable? That day definitely ranks as one of the scariest of our lives.
But then something remarkable happened - we got answers, became educated and totally informed. Information is powerful, as scared as I was to hear it. We learned that we could keep our baby because he would not be affected by the treatment. Wow-what a miracle! I found new strength in my husband & my family - who are integral parts of my unbelievable support system. We all have a new bond now that I didn't know existed before. To me, family is everything. I found strength in my amazing team of doctors & the entire breast cancer community. I found strength in my friends, my colleagues, my faith and even strangers.
The most important message I have learned is that everything I am doing is Good Enough and I do not need to be perfect!! I put a lot of pressure on myself as the CEO of my family and household. Between working full time, caring for a toddler and a newborn, trying to be the best wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend possible, let’s just say it’s a lot to handle. But then I stop and realize that everything I am doing is just that...good enough and that’s ok right now.
My positive outlook has made all the difference and I’ve learned that a fantastic mental attitude is extremely powerful in getting me through this journey. I have completed 16 rounds of chemotherapy (10 while I was pregnant) and have just began my next leg of 28 radiation treatments this month. Then I will have multiple surgeries, including another mastectomy and reconstruction.
The doctors will never know for sure how my pregnancy affected my cancer. Jon and I tell a different story. This baby, our son, saved my life. This precious boy – who we call our little warrior- has been by my side for numerous doctor appointments, chemotherapy treatments and my mastectomy. He has done all of this, before he even took a breath on earth.
I want to share with you what I’ve learned; don’t take life too seriously. Realize all those little things that you think are problems, are not. I’m asking you to be a little kinder every day to the people you “love” and even the people you may not like. Everyone is facing some type of battle -- a battle, you might not know anything about.
Most importantly, do not take your health for granted. If anything does not feel right, please take action. I ask you to do that for me. If I hadn’t been proactive about something that did not feel right in my body, I would have never known the danger about what was happening inside. I was very fortunate to catch the cancer early and lucky that it is treatable and beatable.
Being faced with cancer this young is not a story of triumph; it is oddly timed and unfair, but so is life. Instead, I’ve learned through this experience a new level of appreciation for life. What better gift could an experience like this offer.
It is people like you that help people like me and I realize now the only way to get through this is to do it together.
Jordana and her daughter are wearing the Laura Signature Stripe, which is dedicated to all the women, past and present, who face breast cancer. With each purchase, 5% of e-commerce sales are donated to the Susan G. Komen Greater New York City Chapter, an organization who funds science to find the cures and make grants to community-based programs providing critical breast cancer services for the medically under-served women. Click here to get involved with their upcoming Race 4 the Cure event on September 8th!