Breast Cancer Survivor Mimi’s Journey with Breast Cancer
Mimi: I went from being a day player. To a day and night player. From being just a weekday player to playing weekdays and weekends. I have had a heat stroke on the court. I wouldn’t walk off the court. I wouldn’t quit. I wouldn’t give up after everyone’s telling me, get off the court, Mimi, get off. You’re done, and I absolutely refused to walk off the court until I was done, and then I dropped.
She called me on a Friday afternoon before I went to pick up the kids from school. I was leaving the shopping center, making my grocery run. And picked up the phone, and she said, “Mimi, it’s Dr. Daily. Are you somewhere where you can talk?” And I knew, I knew. I drove to my son’s school, picked him up, put on a smile chatted like we usually do. We came home, got ready to go to the festival. Every moment in the back of my mind, there’s cancer growing in my body right now. I really need to be doing something about this cancer in my body. Why am I sitting here? I should be getting rid of this cancer right now.
That doctors have always watched me, I always say, like white on rice. Constantly planning the next mammogram, then the next breast MRI, then the next mammogram. There’ll be a little discrepancy on the mammogram, well, then you have to go in for a follow-up, and then you have to do an ultrasound, and then they may or may not biopsy it. It could happen. It probably will happen. Come on already. Let me just have the cancer and deal with it. Although you really don’t ever, who says they want to have cancer?
We grew up like sisters. I loved her. I loved the person she was. I love the person of faith she was. I loved how family meant everything to her. By the time she got home and sought treatment in September, it was already advanced breast cancer. Watching my mom gave me strength. I knew how to handle it with grace and dignity, watching my mom. Watching Anett made me fierce. Like I was going at it with two guns a-blazing immediately.
I wanted every research study. I had appointments with surgeons, oncologists, women who had been diagnosed and had been treated, who were happy with their treatment, women who weren’t happy with their treatment. I couldn’t get enough information. I was in accumulate information mode for probably a week.
I remember the day of surgery very well. I felt hopeful. I knew God heard my prayers, and I actually was singing in the shower that morning. Just filled with joy and hope, and of course, my husband thought I was off my rocker. “You’re crazy. You’re about to go under this major surgery. I can’t believe you’re singing.” And I just felt great. This essentially restored my body to exactly what it was before diagnosis. And the results are beautiful. I felt so uplifted the whole time I was in treatment. I felt the power of prayer. I now wanted to immerse myself in an environment where prayer mattered. Where faith, you could live your faith out loud.
Mimi: Hey! How’s it going? How was class today?
Students: I had a physics test.
Mimi: Okay, so where are y’all going to college?
Students: I’m going to play lacrosse at Belmont Abbey. I’m also going there this year.
Mimi: Okay, they’re lucky to have you guys. I’m telling you, I brag on y’all all the time. I really do.
At the time of my diagnosis, we had a lot going on, and there just wasn’t time for tennis. So, I gave it up. But after a while, and I saw the time I had to dedicate to other things that really matter to me. It became so easy just to leave that activity back in the past.
The Center for Restorative Breast Surgery gives a closer look into the life of breast cancer survivor and patient, Mimi. In 2015, Mimi was living in Louisiana with her husband and two teenage boys and working as a molecular biologist. She spent all her spare time on the tennis court, participating in several championships. At 45, after watching her mom go through breast cancer three times, Mimi was diagnosed. In this video, Mimi describes how she made the decision to undergo a nipple-sparing double mastectomy with reconstruction and how this inspired her to prioritize her life so she could focus on what was most important to her. To learn more, contact the Breast Center located at 1717 Saint Charles Ave., New Orleans, LA 70130 by calling 504-899-2800.