Kelley Tuthill, 36, a reporter for ABC News affiliate WCVB in Boston, had one resolution this year: to survive.
Just before Christmas, Tuthill was diagnosed with breast cancer, a disease for which there was no history in her family. Now, in the fight of her life, she is telling her story in a series of candid video diaries airing on WCVB to help encourage others to win the fight. The following is the story of her diagnosis in her own words.
It was the Friday before Christmas -- Dec. 22. I was so convinced this was gonna be nothing. I brought [daughter] Cecilia to the appointment with me. Brendan [her husband] was there, fortunately because it became apparent this was not going to be what I expected.
I was just sitting on the table feeling very vulnerable and while the doctor was examining me, you could feel the tension start to build in the room. Everything gets very serious. I have no family history of breast cancer. I never even had a mammogram before. So when I tell you I was not expecting this diagnosis, believe me, I was not expecting this diagnosis.
We made the decision we were not gonna tell anyone through the holiday weekend. That Friday night, Saturday morning, there was so much sadness, so much crying, so much disbelief. And we had to get up on Saturday and drive to Cape Cod for a large family party with all our closest friends and we didn't tell anyone.
And it was a very lonely place to be because I have such a great family and I really needed their support. But for my sake and their sake, I just felt like I couldn't tell them right then.
On Tuesday, we did start to tell our family and friends that we had been given this diagnosis. To say that people were stunned -- my initial shock was relived every time I told people.
I had to go back to Beth Israel and I underwent a biopsy of the breast and a breast MRI. Thursday, we were called back to meet a surgeon and an oncologist. We really got a sense of how serious this was.
I had not discovered the little pea-sized lump. This was a fairly large mass over three centimeters. And we learned there was involvement in other parts of the same breast and a lymph node that looked suspicious on ultrasound had also tested positive.
They still consider it stage two and I found that reassuring because there's four stages and I like the sound of two. But the grade is a three out of three, which means it's a very aggressive cancer. That obviously sounds scary, but most young cancers tend to be aggressive cancers.
There was no question it was going to be a mastectomy. There was no question I was gonna need chemotherapy. They were talking about 16 weeks of chemotherapy followed by six weeks of radiation. My 2007 was already decided for me.
The treatment sounds daunting because it will take me away from the children. It's gonna make my children upset because they're gonna want me to hold them and there will be times where I maybe can't to do that.
Surviving is where we're at. Everything else is secondary -- losing hair, being out of commission. We just want to beat this. We just want to be alive, we just want me to be there for my children. Because really nothing else matters.