“No one realizes the impact (of breast cancer). You are...

“No one realizes the impact (of breast cancer). You are losing a part of yourself.” - Christine Low

The fear of contracting breast cancer like her grandmother did was “always in the back” of Christine Low’s mind.

“I saw my grandmother go through it,” said the Lindenhurst mother of three, her voice cracking with emotion. “She lived with us, and she was young when she died, she was 59.”

In 2018, at age 49, Christine’s worst fears came true. An annual screening mammogram revealed a stage II invasive ductal carcinoma of the right breast, a cancer of the milk duct that invades the surrounding breast tissue.

“I was at the office when they called me,” recalled Christine, who works in the mortgage banking industry. “I broke down in tears; I couldn’t breathe, and I was hysterical.”

Christine underwent a double mastectomy, breast reconstruction and began a five-year course of Tamoxifen, a hormone therapy that lowers the risk of a breast cancer recurrence.

Her children, family and friends helped her find strength in the face of cancer. “They encouraged me to never give up, and that all would be okay.” Christine said.

Christine also credits “the power” of prayer and the Babylon Breast Cancer Coalition, a support and advocacy nonprofit, with helping her cope with the daily challenges during her recovery.

“They (the Coalition) gave us gift cards to a pizzeria and other places so I didn’t have to cook for my kids during surgery,” she said. “Then they brought us Thanksgiving dinner and for Christmas, they donated gifts for my children.” She is grateful for their understanding and for offering hope when she felt hopeless.

Four years later, Christine is looking forward to a bright future. She advises others facing a breast cancer diagnosis to “always keep fighting” and to “find a support system that will hold your hand through the process.”

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