PELL CITY, Ala. (WIAT) — October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We here at CBS42 are sharing stories of survival.
Denise Mayo was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer at the age of 44. She never thought she would be a cancer patient.
“It’s an everyday thing,” Mayo said. “You know there is a time limit on you.”
The early signs that most women check for, such as breast tenderness, a lump, or something that looks off, was not there for Mayo.
“You could only see it on a mammogram,” says Mayo.
If it weren’t for the test, she may never have known that she had breast cancer. Now 2 years in remission, Mayo has decided to use her experience to become an advocate for the disease that affects roughly 1 in 8 women.
“I taught about breast cancer to my college students for many, many years and I thought I knew a lot. I didn’t know anything,” Mayo said. “Until you become a breast cancer patient, you do not know the things that a woman has to go through.”
These days, Mayo does not shy away from much. Cancer for her is a chapter that she refuses to make her whole story.
“I want to see my daughter grow up. I want to see my grandchildren. I want to be there for her,” said Mayo. “I’m still me, just a better version of me.”