It was the one phone call that forever changed Laurie Moroff’s life. On the other end of the line was her doctor who wasted no time delivering the bad news: “I’m sorry to tell you but the right breast biopsy was malignant.”
At once, Laurie, a single mother of two, says she went into “survival mode,” scheduling appointments with oncologists, breast surgeons and plastic surgeons. “First it’s shock and then it’s a whirlwind,” said the Assistant District Attorney who was diagnosed a month after turning 40. “You barely have time to digest what is happening to you before you are thrown into options and treatments and decisions that have to be made quickly.”
Although a unilateral mastectomy and chemotherapy were recommended, she chose a bilateral mastectomy to “give myself the best chance of survival” and also opted for the removal of her uterus and ovaries, a source of the hormone estrogen, which can stimulate the growth of certain cancers.
With two children to care for, then 11 and 8, she focused on “fighting.” Laurie, who was grateful to have the support of her parents and sister during her treatment, said “I didn’t want them to see their mother sick. I wanted them to see a strong woman fighting a terrible disease with grace and beauty.”
Laurie has been in remission for two years now, and it has taken that long for the Babylon resident to regain her physical and emotional strength. But at 42, she says she is almost grateful for her illness. “Sometimes you get wrapped up in the day to day that you can’t see the forest through the trees,” she said. “There’s a newfound appreciation for what my kids have brought to my life. Now I treasure every moment with them, and I’ve been able to find myself, too.”