Posted at: 10/16/2013 3:37 PM
| Updated at: 10/17/2013 8:37 AM
By: Benita Zahn
The flag bearing the symbol of the fight against breast cancer adorns Kristie Scalise's home. And if you still have any doubt that a breast cancer survivor lives here .. Her choice of clothing and the special tee shirt her young daughter wears cinches it. Yes, Kristie Scalise is a breast cancer survivor - just.
It was this past January that her life was upended.
" It was a Thursday, getting in the shower, noticed a lump."
Her first thought was -28 year olds don't get breast cancer - and then, it can't be cancer - she was 21 weeks pregnant.
" My mother actually said, it's a backed up milk duct, that's what I thought. "
If only. In short order she got the heart stopping diagnosis. 3 small tumors, stage two breast cancer - an aggressive cancer. No time to wait to start treatment. A partial mastectomy and 4 rounds of chemo. In a show of solidarity family members shaved their heads when she did.
As much as Kristie, her husband and their young daughter tried to live a normal life, the cancer had other plans. Because her next chemo treatment would be more powerful the pregnancy needed to end a bit sooner than mother nature would have wanted. 4 and a half weeks before her due date she delivered baby Anthony by c-section on Mother's day.
" I wrapped my arms around him. "
She still had to undergo 4 more rounds of chemo and endure 33 radiation treatments. It all wrapped up on her birthday in September.
Now she's getting ready to walk in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event with her team, some 40 strong.
And she wants to encourage young women to be aware of their bodies - so if they notice a change in their breasts, they can take action.
" That if they find anything just call, don't hesitate to go to the doctors. "