Five years ago, when Lori Tintella went for a mammogram at the age of 37, she thought she was just checking something off her To Do list. “You know, go to the dentist for a cleaning – check, have a yearly mammogram - check.” But when her margins did not come back with clean results and instead she was told she had stage 1 breast cancer, Lori’s life changed forever.
Within weeks she was meeting with breast surgeons, using words like lumpectomy and mastectomy, and being forced to make tough decisions about her body. She had cancer in her right breast and pre-cancerous cells in her left breast. “The decision to have a double mastectomy was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make. It becomes a matter of survival. At the time I had a young baby at home and I kept thinking I’m a mom and I want a future with my son.”
Recently, Lori had a five year cancer-free celebration with her wife Dana, their son and lots of friends and family. “Prior to cancer I was not a very positive person. I quickly realized that this experience was only a snapshot of a segment of my life,” says Lori, who volunteers with the Babylon Breast Cancer Coalition as a way of giving back. “My advice to anyone in the thick of it right now, at the moment it seems so difficult – you’ll get through this – and going through this will make you a better person!”