Stories of hope

Anna Presser


Breast cancer entered my life just weeks after 9/11 when my mom was officially diagnosed. I was 25 years old, just starting my career and all of a sudden my life changed from the inside out. My mom is now a two-time survivor. She has shown me the grace and grit of fighting the disease and has been an example of reaching out to other women to face breast cancer together.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 37. Somehow I feel I knew I was going to face the disease, but I never thought I would be in my thirties. The words, “you have cancer” will forever be engrained in my memory. I was diagnosed with stage 3A lobular and ductal cancer. The diagnosis was especially difficult for my mom. She blamed herself and was so upset. I remember vividly a conversation with her, when I asked her if she blamed herself. I told her I didn’t blame her and I didn’t blame God. I needed her and all my support system to focus on getting healed. And that is what we did! We fought the disease together! My husband made me feel beautiful each and every day, even when I had no hair or eyebrows. Married for just a few months before my cancer diagnosis, I truly believe God placed him in my life to hold my hand throughout my cancer journey.

I pray for a day that nobody has to hear the words, “You have cancer.” I am never happy that I received a cancer diagnosis, but there are some silver linings. I have a stronger and deeper faith and love for God. I have more empathy for those going through difficult situations and tough times. I appreciate every opportunity and view the world through pink-colored glasses. I see the pink of the sunsets, I cherish every rainbow, I hug my family and friends close and tell them I LOVE them. I take rides in a convertible with the top down and the wind in my hair. I smile, I laugh, I walk, and I run all with joy and love for life.

I also try to be the example my mom set and help other women. I have made so many friends online and in cancer support groups. I try to pass along the tips and wisdom of going through the tough treatments and the emotional roller coaster.

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