Crystal Grant’s story is extremely special and near and dear to all of our hearts here at Beasley Media Group in Augusta. You see, earlier this year, Crystal joined our Beasley Sales team. She knew some of our employees already. But we all quickly embraced her, and soon she was family! Crystal is such a sweet, kind, and beautiful person. It’s not hard to see that when you first meet her. Unfortunately for Crystal, she received news that no one ever wants to hear. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in June.
I asked Crystal if she’d do an interview, and share her story with us. She quickly agreed and sent me her story. As you’ll see, Crystal is still early in her breast cancer journey, and through it all, she has shown strength and resiliency! We are continuing to keep Crystal in our prayers. As I said, she’s FAMILY here!
Here’s our interview:
When were you first diagnosed? How old were you? What led to getting the tests?
I was 37, as I am now, at the time of my diagnosis. I found a lump in May of 2022 and honestly thought it was a regular fibroid as I had experienced them before my pregnancies. I brushed it off as nothing until my family and I were on a beach trip in June and my son fell asleep on my chest and I could not stand the discomfort that I felt on that side. I was swollen and it was just tender to touch. This had been the case but all things that you read state that “Breast cancer does not hurt.” This is NOT TRUE. On Monday after our vacation, I called my doctor and mentioned what I was experiencing and he had me in the next morning to check it. He referred me for a diagnostic mammogram.
Does breast cancer run in your family?
No one in my family has had breast cancer and all genetic testing that I had showed no indication of it as well.
What was your first thought when you heard the news?
This cannot be true, I am only 37 years old. I am an overthinker in all things. I was scared for my job that I was a new employee at, scared for my family, and scared that I couldn’t handle it.
What was your treatment plan?
I had a choice to do a lumpectomy with chemo, radiation and hormone replacement for 5 years, a single mastectomy with reconstruction or a double. With the mastectomy there was a big chance that I would not need any further treatment. I chose a double mastectomy for the sake of all things being equal of course. I wanted to make sure that the tissue on my other side was gone so that I would not have to worry in the future. After surgery my tumor was identified as HER2+ which is a marker with cancer that means it can spread to other areas of the body. With this marker, I was placed on 12 weeks of chemotherapy once a week and then every 3 weeks for a year after that.
What is one thing you wish you knew before you started your treatment?
Honestly, that I am not as strong as I always make myself out to be. All of it is scary and I just had no idea. It affects you mentally, physically and emotionally.
What is the hardest part of your journey? How did you overcome it?
I have 3 young kids. They are 6, 6, and 3. The hardest part of this journey for me has been trying to help them understand and make sure that they know “Momma is gonna be okay and that she is a fighter.” Not picking up my kids for the past 4 months has been so hard.
What’s the biggest lesson/revelation you learned throughout your journey?
You always hear people say this but I now am a believer. Take nothing for granted, as we are never promised tomorrow. I also learned that I am not in control as I tend to think. God brought me on this journey and he laid out the path when I did not even realize it. He placed me in a new job with people who loved on myself and family through the process and led my family to our church a year before my diagnosis. He brought me to it and is gonna bring me through it.
What advice would you give to women facing a breast cancer diagnosis?
One day at a time is all that you can take. Nothing about anyone’s diagnosis or treatment is the same but you will find comfort in other survivors that you allow to talk to you. You will have someone who understands exactly how it feels to be told that you have cancer, exactly how it feels to go through everything that you walk through after your diagnosis. Trust in GOD and pray. He will walk with you on this journey.
Here are some pictures Crystal sent us:
If you would like to share your own breast cancer story, please email us.