'There is a light at the end of the tunnel': Breast cancer survivor shares message of hope
She was young and healthy, with no family history of breast cancer. But when she was diagnosed, doctors told her the disease was aggressive and advanced.
That's when Bellmore's Kimberly Callahan says she decided she wasn't going to let breast cancer define her.
Callahan says eight years ago, she never would have imagined she could be happy or healthy. That's when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
She was 30, healthy and had no family history. Since she hadn't even thought about having kids yet, doctors gave her a week to freeze her eggs, then started her on an aggressive chemotherapy treatment to shrink her tumor before doing the surgery.
"The chemo was by far the worst part of the whole experience. It took me down to where I felt like I was dying," she says.
Because of how advanced the cancer was, Kimberly opted to have a double mastectomy. That was two days after Hurricane Sandy.
Callahan says she has plenty to cheer about. She, and husband Anthony, got pregnant without ever using the frozen eggs. Her daughter Savannah is now 4 years old.
She says that although breast cancer was a big part of her life, she made a decision early on not to let it define her life.
It's the message she now shares with others.
"There is hope for women, and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. No matter how bad it seems at times it can get better," Callahan says.