Michelle Bragg

I was born and raised in New Haven. I love this city. I have always been in pretty good health and very athletic. I was a cheerleader in high school and have been a member of the Dee

Dee’s Dance Family since the day she opened her doors 28 years ago – first as a student and then as a teacher for the last 22 years. I have seen half of New Haven come through those doors. I have a great family, two beautiful daughters and a wonderful man in my life.

I was participating in a “Biggest Loser” contest with some of the parents from the dance studio and was in second place when one day, I noticed that the more weight I lost, the more this “lump” got bigger in my left breast. I had first noticed something abnormal when I was breast feeding my daughter a couple of years earlier. I saw my mid-wife and was told that it was most likely a clogged milk duct and should go away. It never did.

I was scheduled for my yearly physical exam with my family doctor and was given a complete head to toe exam. When I left her office, I had appointments for a couple of specialists, including one for a mammogram and ultrasound.

On March 29th, 2007, I had the mammogram and ultrasound and after careful review by the technician and an MD, I had an appointment with a surgeon on the 30th. Being a Registered Nurse myself, I knew by the look on everyone’s face that something was wrong. On April 5th, I had a biopsy and on April 10th at 4:16 p.m., my life changed. I received the devastating news that I had cancer.

After several more biopsies and tests, I had a double mastectomy with reconstruction. I went home from the hospital with drains coming out of both sides of me and very limited use of my arms. I was in a whole lot of pain and just miserable, but with the loving care of my family, friends and co-workers, I made it through. After four surgeries in a four- month period, I was on the road to recovery. I am still going to physical therapy and don’t know if I will ever have 100% of the strength back in my left arm but I am a SURVIVOR!

Special thanks and blessings to Regina, Vanessa, Nikki, and my Dee Dee’s Family for everything that you all have done. But an EXTRA special thank you to Shaylice, India and Reggie. Shay, I don’t know what I would do without you. You are such a special person. You have made me so very proud to be your mother. Continue to always be you and never change. India, you were my little Nurse and you wouldn’t let anyone hurt Mommy. God knows that he put you in my life for a reason. You are such a joy and you bring happiness to all that you touch. Reggie, I thank God everyday for Him bringing you into my life. I love you very much. You were there for me everyday throughout this journey and I thank you for that. I may not say it often but I appreciate everything that you have done.

Last, but definitely not least, I thank God for giving me the Privilege of waking up each morning because I know through him, all things are possible.

 

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