Tree of Love
- age: 42
- year of diagnosis: 2007
- survivor years: 7 years (8 years in August)
- current city: Boston, MA
- type of breast cancer: Stage 2b - ER+ (Invasive ductal carcinoma)
- profession: Advertising
- Since being diagnosed at 30, Amy has had three co-workers and three friends of friends diagnosed with breast cancer. “I’ve welcomed them into the club that no one should ever join, helping them navigate through this stressful and challenging time.” Amy started the Boston chapter of the Young Survival Coalition. “While cancer certainly wasn’t anything that I wanted or would wish on anyone, if my experience can help any other survivors … then my journey was worth it.”
- What is your idea of happiness?
- Sharing great food and good wine with friends and family - preferably somewhere beautiful like Italy.
- What is your biggest fear?
- Someone close getting diagnosed with cancer.
- Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
- Buffy Summers - a girl who kicked butt and saved the world with her best friends.
- Who are your heroes in real life?
- The co-survivors.
- What do you most value in your friends?
- Compassion, empathy and humor.
- What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
- Strength - while it's good to be strong, sometimes it's best to admit that you need help. You don't need to go through everything alone.
- What is your greatest regret?
- Other than the perm I got in 7th grade, I don't really have any regrets. Life consists of lessons learned and then I move on.
- What is your most treasured possession?
- My cat - eight pounds of pure love - although I think I am his possession.
- What was your darkest hour?
- After I was initially diagnosed, I went online to get more information about breast cancer - not realizing how overwhelmingly deep and scary that rabbit hole was. By the time my husband came home from work, I was an inconsolable mess. Lesson learned: don't go online to do any research before you even understand what you've been diagnosed with.
- What was your brightest hour?
- Graduating from culinary school - a lifelong dream. I was attending when I was diagnosed - and due to my surgery, it was questionable whether I would be able to finish (without serious risk of lymphedema). However, I decided to take the chance to complete it.