Finding Light in Cancer’s Shadow: Allison Bell
Diagnosis: Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Stage 2 Breast Cancer
Allison discovered a lump on her left breast while showering. She has gone through four rounds of chemotherapy which she finished on August 7. On September 11, she underwent a double mastectomy and will have reconstructive surgery later this year.
There is a history of cancer in Allison’s family. Her grandmother and aunt on her mother’s side both had breast cancer and there is a history of colon cancer on her father’s side of the family. However, Allison isn’t letting the disease dictate the quality of her life. “I’ve faced my fear of needles and doctors. Chemo never made me sick or tired and I’ve been able to live a normal life. Seeing people go through their cancer journeys has made me more empathetic.”
Allison says she was scared when her hair began to fall out. “I really didn’t know if I could live a normal life. ‘Could I go to work, what would people think?’ I don’t go out in the stores without my wig on, I don’t go out in the yard or to the mailbox without a baseball cap on. I don’t feel comfortable. Until you’re in those shoes, you don’t understand. But I’ve been able to work and live normally and walk down the street and go out and be with my friends,” she says.