Tory Campbell

Association: Patient
Region: California
Cancer: Breast

"Going through this experience, you reexamine your life and its focus."

When my doctor found a growth in my breast, I was just about to turn 40 and was living in Connecticut with a comfortable job and a lot of friends. After the biopsy proved inconclusive, I scheduled a lumpectomy and finally—one month after turning 40—I got the call that the sample she took from lumpectomy was in fact cancerous.

Initially, my oncologist recommended chemotherapy as a long-term preventative measure but I ended up saying no and instead, I decided to do some research and put this journey into my own hands. I’m not one of those people who always thinks everything happens for a reason. I don’t completely disagree, but my cancer was a catalyst for change in my life so I packed up my life, resigned from my comfortable job that provided me with great insurance, left a network of amazing friends and moved to San Diego, California.

I don’t have a plan; eventually when I get insurance, I’ll go through the process again. I know how good I had it and if I got it again, I’m not sure if I would treat it.

I know it sounds morbid. I don’t wish to die. I’m still very healthy and wish to live out my life, but, at the same time, having that first run of it left me unsure if I would do it all again. Going through this experience, you reexamine your life and its focus. Those things I would have complained about two months ago, all seem really petty. This revelation wasn’t necessarily on my radar, but neither was cancer. It never is for anyone.