As a teacher, Barbara Bergman has always instilled a positive attitude among her students. That spirit helped enormously when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2007.
"I'm a very positive person," says the Freeport resident. "All my doctors assured me that my cancers were small and diffuse and that I should expect a long life ahead of me."
Bergman's optimistic disposition, along with the "wonderful support" from her family and colleagues, played a big role in her recovery.
"I firmly believed that I was going to be fine," she says. "I maintained a sense of humor and acted as though cancer was just one more of life's chores that had to be taken care of." Bergman recommends that other survivors considering reconstruction evaluate the DIEP flap procedure, which she had after her mastectomy.
Now cancer-free, Bergman calls herself "stronger, more beautiful and with a great zest for life."