Julie has been married to Mike for 13 years, and she has a stepson named MJ, two dogs, and three cats. She has worked two jobs since 2008 and is proud to note that she worked them both during her entire cancer journey. She also went back to school for medical billing and coding. In her spare time she likes to read books, paint, sew, go for walks, and do anything else that pops in her head!
She noticed a lump in her left armpit – she named the lump Tweedledum − in 2018 at age 38. Her primary doctor brushed it off, and despite highly elevated liver enzymes none of her doctors thought to investigate further. When she turned 40 Julie had a mammogram, and was then diagnosed with Stage 2A triple positive invasive ductal carcinoma grade 2 – not one tumor but four! “Again, an overachiever,” she says.
Julie underwent chemo, a bilateral mastectomy, radiation, implants, a total hysterectomy, and removal of her left implant due to a staph infection. Fortunately she fell into the hands of Dr. Yoho in July 2022 in the hopes that he could put her back together with DIEP Flap surgery. “That was the best decision I made,” said Julie. “He is compassionate about his patients and his job, which is very hard to find these days.” Despite complications, Julie always found the humor in her situation. Next month she will undergo her hopefully last surgery for her cancer journey so she can close this chapter and continue to enjoy survivorship.
Julie advises women that “cancer is not a death sentence, it’s a life sentence. Treatments have come a long way. Be your own advocate and push to get tests done so you don’t end up being diagnosed two years after the fact. Mindset is 95% of your battle and the other 5% is your cancer journey. Being diagnosed is the only thing set in stone – your treatment and everything that comes with it is not. Have an open mind.”
Julie thanks Dr. Yoho for putting her back together – she couldn’t be happier with the outcome! She thanks Dr. Mirhaidari for assisting him with her surgery, and keeping him on his toes! She is grateful to the crew at Crystal Plastics for being caring and sweet. There are so many people she wants to thank, but this isn’t the Oscars, and there are other stunning women here tonight that deserve to be honored for their bravery in this journey. “Finally,” she says, “thank you to my family and friends – my biggest cheerleaders – you know who you are!”