Women in Lighting

STAGE 0 – An awareness story

23 March 2020 // Health Stories

Doctor: The histology test showed that your lymph nodes, I took out, are clear.
Me: (sigh of relief)
Doctor: Hold it. However, there is cancer at stage 0 at the breast tissue. You are super lucky it was detected, now what we need to do blah blah blah...
Me: (silent crying)
Doctor: Do you follow? Do you need me to stop?
Me: No, carry on. What do I need to do now?
Doctor: As I was saying..[...]....
......

That was the first time I heard the word cancer as part of myself.

To make the long story short:
A routine mammogram beginning of summer 2019 turned my life upside down and changed it forever.
It took three months, two surgeries including lumpectomy, countless hours of agony, a bunch of people taking care of me, hundreds of support messages, dozens of days spent with my family, to become cancer-free!

You don’t need to experience it, trust me, I feel reborn no matter the current and future consequences.
My interpretation of my body and my femininity is not the same any more. I don’t feel secure. I feel vulnerable but at the same time so strong I faced it. I think it will always bring me tears when I talk or write about it (as right now).

If there is one thing I want to share with you is GO FOR ROUTINE MAMMOGRAMS AND SELF-EXAM.
It increases the chances of a “and she lived happily ever after” end.

And believe in yourselves you can do it everything, because you can.

I took this photo the day I found out I was cancer-free right before I dived into the sea. I asked my doctor if it was OK to swim and she told me only after sunset, so I left directly from the hospital and reached the beach!

Foteini Kyriakidou

PS1. Doc, you are a wonderful woman, thanks.
PS2. “And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in.
Haruki Murakami