Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Tampa chapter.

As we enter the last week of Breast Cancer Awareness month, it has me reflecting on some of the hardest, yet most impactful moments of my life. 

When I was 10 years old, my mom was diagnosed with Stage 1 Breast Cancer. After beating it once, she was diagnosed again with the same cancer two years later. She is now a two-time breast cancer survivor, and I feel so lucky and so proud to be the daughter of such a strong woman. In honor of spreading awareness, here is a bit about my mother’s journey and the ways that we coped through her path to recovery.

My mom, Lyn, is one of the healthiest people you will ever meet. She has always been someone to exercise as much as she can and eat as healthy as possible. That is why her diagnosis in 2011 pretty much came as a total shock.

It was scary. I can never forget the pain that I overheard in her voice that first night, when she asked her doctor on the phone if she was going to die from this. I can never forget as a child, wishing on every 11:11 that she would be cured of this cancer. Yet, I can also never forget the outlook that she had the entire time while she was fighting this disease, both times.

She never complained. I literally never heard her complain. We would joke together, especially over the way that her genes have now screwed me up for life, and to be careful not to eat or drink certain things that, with her luck, will probably give her cancer again. Super dark humor, I know, but it was the constant laughter that helped her cope through her journey to recovery. I rarely ever saw her without a smile on her face. She stayed strong for herself, and for her two young children.

After several surgeries and radiation, my mom is now stronger than ever before, and I could not be more proud.

Please take it from my mom; a young, fit, healthy woman, without any history of breast cancer in the family. Anyone could be at risk for contracting this disease. Do monthly self-examinations. Go to your doctor and get your scheduled check-ups. If the cancer was not caught as early as it was both times, I may not have been so lucky to still have my best friend with me today.

If you are interested in making a donation to Breast Cancer research, please check out places like the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, the National Breast Cancer Foundation, or the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Lisa Striffolino is a Sophomore student at the University of Tampa majoring in Communications and minoring in Journalism and PR?☀️ She is excited to continue to explore her passions in journalism(broadcast and print), and the worlds of media and marketing. You could either find Lisa writing articles for Her Campus or The Minaret, watching her favorite tv shows, or spending time with family and friends☺️
Amanda Thompson is a native of Portland, Maine who is currently a Senior studying Communications at The University of Tampa. When she's not binge-watching New Girl, you can find her dancing around to Jhené Aiko, Lana Del Rey or Kehlani. If you want to keep up with Amanda, follow her on Instagram @amaandathompson