Age: 54, diagnosed at 48, No family history, No known genetic mutation
Joyce, a dental team coordinator, postponed getting a mammogram for four years as she didn’t have health insurance. When she finally got one, it led to a stage 1 breast cancer diagnosis. She had a lumpectomy and radiation but opted against chemotherapy. Joyce describes herself as a lifetime caregiver. From before the age of 20, she had custody of a niece and nephew and was a foster parent to two other kids. Later, she helped raise two stepchildren and a great-niece. She also took care of various family members. “I never took the time to worry about myself,” she says. “I never asked for help because I felt like I had to be the strong one that everyone else could lean on.” Even when she was diagnosed, she didn’t think she needed help. It wasn’t until she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer later that she finally reached out to H4TG. “I receive unlimited support from the group, and they give me an uplifting part of myself I wouldn’t have realized on my own.” The rebellious, fun-loving attitudes of women in the 1920s appeal to Joyce’s own sense of independence and her desire to live every day fully and with as much fun as possible.