"I never thought, ‘Why me?’," says the four-year survivor. "But I was surprised, since none of my close relatives had ever been diagnosed."
Being educated about all your treatment options is critical, says Amatulli. "If you feel unsure, get a second opinion, or even a third. Don’t rush into any surgical procedure until you are comfortable with both your doctor and your surgical choices." She also recommends that you bring a friend or family member with you during your doctor’s appointments. "You can feel extremely overwhelmed, and another person’s presence can really make a difference."
One of Amatulli’s first decisions was to reach out to others for support and information. She connected with the Adelphi Breast Cancer Hotline and Support Program, and called them regularly to seek answers to questions about her diagnosis and treatment.
"There was always a survivor at the other end of the phone to answer my questions or just listen to my fears," says Amatulli, who now volunteers with the program. "It’s a wonderful resource that lets you know you’re not alone during this difficult time."