Kelly Benson

Kelly visited Olivia’s Newburyport office in order to discuss her experience with breast cancer since her original post on July 30th of 2018.

I was vacuuming, It was a Sunday, and my friend was coming over with her family for dinner. I suddenly had an itch, and I was like, “wait that’s weird.” I ran to my husband and was like “can you feel this?” And when my friend came, I asked the same thing.

I called my primary care doctor the next day and scheduled a mammogram for that Wednesday. My friend took me to my mammogram. They told me, “we don’t see anything. I don’t think there’s anything to worry about, but just in case, let’s schedule a biopsy.”

They biopsied the lump on Wednesday, and they called me on Friday to say it was cancer. They didn’t even know what kind it was yet. So at first I didn’t know if it was lymphoma, breast cancer, or leukemia. I fell to the floor freaking out. I was by myself because my husband was at the grocery store and my kids were at a friend’s house. I called my husband right away and told him he needed to come home. By the time my husband arrived I had called my doctor, and she had said it was breast cancer.

I called my parents. It was the hardest phone call I’ve ever had to make. Years ago, my brother passed away – my parents had already lost one child and to find out your other child has cancer is like, are you fucking kidding me?

My parents drove up right away and a couple of friends came over that first night. It was a happy place, but every once in a while I would reel back in and cry a little. I remember it being more high than low. The lowest low was when I woke up the next morning and thought, how do I tell my kids?

I don’t do well with support groups or facebook pages. I don’t do well with any of that because it always brings me back to that morning and my thought, “what am I going to do?” I’m not in a place where I want to hear sad stories. I want to hear about how survivors are doing great and cancer doesn’t define them.

Runway is completely different from other support organizations because the event is a breath of fresh air. I was so happy the whole night. It was so great. The focus of the night is: We made it.