My name is Jill and I am a breast cancer survivor and eating disorder fighter.
I have an extensive family history when it comes to cancer so I always figured I would end up with cancer but never really thought I would get cancer. A string of super random events led to hearing the words “it’s cancer.” I was diagnosed with Stage 2A HER2+ Invasive Ductal Carcinoma on January 13, 2016, about a month after turning 39.
I was scared and overwhelmed with no idea what might lay ahead of me. I had a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction, 6 rounds of TCH-P chemotherapy and then a year of Herceptin. I’m now on an aromatase for another 7 years or so.
It was bad enough that I had cancer, but as I was getting ready for my second round of chemo, I found out my dad had cancer too; stage IV lung cancer. It took me a long time to really get to know him. He was gruff on the outside but had the kindest heart of anyone I’ve ever known. I am very much like my dad.
I have always had low levels of anxiety but cancer really affected my mental health. I did pretty well during treatment but just because I carried myself well didn’t mean it wasn’t heavy. I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and an eating disorder. I started running and spent a lot of time in the gym to help work through my anxiety. I’ve run 2 marathons, a Ragnar, some half-marathons and a lot of shorter races. I also did a triathlon which I’d like to do again someday.
I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I cherish the friendships I’ve made with other cancer survivors and fighters but I also feel a great deal of pressure to be the “right kind of cancer survivor.” In all honesty, I have no interest in being an influencer nor am I trying to raise awareness on social media. I’m just someone choosing to share parts of my life (the good and the not so good) to help other survivors not feel so alone as they navigate life during and after cancer. I share my life without scripts or perfect photos. I inspire by sharing my successes and opening up about my struggles.
While life after cancer can be messy, it can also be crazy fun and beautiful.
To know more about Jill, follow her on Instagram @jillpring95